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Planned Hirshhorn Bubble Popped

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The bubble would have been used as a seasonal venue.
The bubble would have been used as a seasonal venue.

Plans to create a multimillion dollar inflatable bubble off of the Hirshhorn Museum have been canceled due to lack of funding.

For four years, the Smithsonian Institution has raised money to create an inflatable pavilion bubbling out of the middle of the museum, which is shaped like a donut. It was going to be a seasonal venue for performances and arts and cultural programs, but funding for the $15.5 million project fell short.

About $7.8 million had been raised or committed, including more than $1 million from Bloomberg L.P. as a naming gift. Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas says most donations had been pledges.

Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough says the museum complex faces significant financial challenges and can't pursue the project without additional funding.

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