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Boston's Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) and Japanese commerce officials have announced their intention to create a sister museum in Nagoya, Japan.The Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts, as it will be called, is expected to be part of a cultural complex to open in about five years. The Boston MFA will provide planning and consulting services as well as develop long-term and temporary exhibitions. Nagoya, Japan's third largest city (about 4 million people) and home of large corporations such as Toyota and Yamaha, will foot the entire bill including compensation to the MFA for its services. The joint venture will bring much-needed income to the Boston museum, which is operating at a $3 million deficit. m very pleased that out of all museums we were asked first," says Alan Shestack, MFA director. "Because of the potential financial benefits, we will be a stronger museum. At the same time we will put our reserve collections to use and provide the Nagoya museum with ongoing diversity." Mr. Shestack and other MFA officials view the move as a natural extension of a continuing relationship with Japan: The MFA was the first United States art museum to create a Japanese collection (in 1890) and to appoint a curator specializing in Japanese art. Some consider its Japanese collection the most extensive outside Japan. Exhibition exchanges between the Boston museum and Japan have taken place annually. Next year the MFA will send a visiting exhibition of French paintings to Japan. "Globalization is in the offing," says Shestack, who was in Tokyo last month where he saw exhibitions from the Prado (Madrid) and the Louvre (Paris). "We aren't alone in sending exhibitions to Japan," he notes, "but we are alone in creating an institutional partnership."

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