“Of those 1,000 there are about 200 objects of real importance that I, as a curator, would be happy to have displayed on the walls,” Cooper said in an interview in May.
It is also rumored that construction on a new museum in Riverside may be delayed while existing museums are considered for moves to new developments in Allston.
Power, who praised Cuno as an “exciting person to work with,” said Harvard’s physical planning committee was considering “a scenario for Allston that would include facilities for the arts.”
Cuno said these uncertainties were not a factor in his decision to leave Harvard.
“I don’t feel like we are being sacrificed for the development in Allston,” he said.
But other institutional hassles have plagued Cuno’s tenure.
Harvard has considered improvements to the Fogg building, including improved climate control, increased security and revamped infrastructure.
Some say these efforts were delayed because Harvard’s priorities were on other building projects, such as the proposed Center for Government and International Studies (CGIS) in mid-Cambridge, which Power said has taken up a lot of energy.
“There a has been a focus of effort recently on gaining the necessary support from the city council for the easement for the tunnel,” Power said, referring to the proposed tunnel under Cambridge Street that would connect the two CGIS buildings.
Cuno said his move was timed to minimize disruption, since the plans for the museum expansions have been completed while community relations work and building lie ahead.
“This is the right time to [leave], because otherwise starting into those projects would mean a commitment of many other years,” he said.
“The next stages are long-term stages.”
—Staff writer J. Hale Russell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.