HomeHillsborough BeaconHillsborough NewsHILLSBOROUGH: What do Doris Duke and Claude Monet have in common? (updated)

HILLSBOROUGH: What do Doris Duke and Claude Monet have in common? (updated)

Heiress and art lover Doris Duke donated money to save and restore the French house and gardens of impressionist painter Claude Monet, which were opened to the public in 1980.
Now the group trying to save Doris Duke’s main residence in Hillsborough from being demolished is appealing to international Claude Monet Foundation in Giverny, France, to return the favor.
“We believe one good turn deserves another,” said Nancy Piwowar, local history advocate and member of DORIS (Demolition Of Residence Is Senseless). “Doris Duke donated funds to save and restore the house and gardens of Claude Monet, which was opened to the public in 1980. Giverny is a national treasure in France.“
David Brook, a DORIS supporter, a Hillsborough resident and an attorney, explained, “Monet’s house and gardens fell into disrepair after the death of the painter. Just like the Duke Mansion, 20 years of neglect.”
The Duke home is in a closed-off part of the 2,300-acre environmental preserve in northern Hillsborough. In the summer and fall DORIS opposed the Duke Foundation’s application to the township historical Preservation Commission for a demolition permit.
The commission cleared Duke Farms to ask for the permit, which Duke Farms Foundation has received from the township but won’t be used until legal proceedings brought by the DORIS group are completed, the foundation has said.
Mr. Brook said a Superior Court hearing is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 26. All parties are in the midst of filing and exchanging paperwork on the case, he said.
“It’s a major dereliction of duty by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in letting the home of their benefactor go to ruin,“ said Mr. Brook, the group’s attorney.
Along with Doris Duke, other wealthy art lovers such as Henry Ford II and Laurance and David Rockefeller donated funds to save the Monet house and gardens.
“Clearly, the Duke Mansion and Farm are significant historical gems here in New Jersey,“ said Mr. Brook. “We need the support and help of organizations such as The Claude Monet Foundation to convince the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation of the tremendous value and potential of this asset.“
Ms. Piwowar asked rhetorically, “What is the Duke Estate without the estate house? Claude Monet’s house only adds to the context of the artist as he painted the water lilies in the gardens at Giverny. The Duke Mansion is where the Duke Family lived for over 100 years and built the magnificent Duke Farms and residence complexes.“
Mr. Brook said, “The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation does not need donations to save the mansion. They are an enormously wealthy organization. They can easily afford to restore the Duke home without outside help. It would be great if the Ford and Rockefeller families encouraged the foundation to use some of its resources to save the Duke home.” 

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