Asian Arts Center Opens In Sarasota

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) _ Four years and $10.2 million in the making, the Center for Asian Art is open to Ringling Museum of Art members.

The Herald-Tribune reports the center opened Thursday.

A grand opening for the public will be held in May.

The 7,500-square-foot pavilion will focus on the arts and cultures of Asia from ancient times to the present day.

Its construction and opening were complicated by a lawsuit filed by its chief benefactor Helga Wall-Apelt, a former Ringling board member who made a $4.1 million gift in 2006 but filed suit against the museum for failing to move forward on the project.

She also withdrew her gift of about 1,700 pieces of Asian art, which left the museum scrambling to fill its planned exhibition spaces.