Art gallery owners differ about police protection

Gary Nader Gallery receives Miami Police protection

Published On: Jan 30 2013 06:31:56 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 30 2013 11:07:40 PM EST
MIAMI -

An art gallery in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood filled with Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Fernando Botero paintings is receiving police protection, and nearby galleries owners believe they should, too.

Gary Nader, who owns Gary Nader Gallery, said he has one of the most important art collections in the world. The collection is called "Masterpieces."

"This is a selection of masterpieces from the most important collection of modern and contemporary art in private hands in the world," said Nader.

The City of Miami Police Department is spending thousands of taxpayer dollars protecting the collection.

"It's over $2 million. I cannot afford to have a policeman, so I told the city, 'I want the city involved,'" said Nader.

Mayor Tomas Regalado agreed to post a uniformed police officer at the collection, which is temporarily in Miami.

"It's bizarre," said William Braemer, who owns nearby Art Fusion Gallery.

Braemer said if Nader receives free protection, so should he, along with the other galleries in Wynwood.

"I understand that his collection is a very important collection, but so is mine and so is the other community of galleries and we're not getting the protection," he said.

Nader argues that his collection is free for the public and needs to be protected.

According to the Mayor's office, Regalado agreed to posting the detail because the exhibit is free to the public and because an art theft there would be be detrimental to the city's image.