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Montco Judge Refuses To Revisit Barnes Museum's Move to Philadelphia

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) - A Montgomery County judge is once again refusing to reopen the case involving the Barnes Foundation's move from Lower Merion to Philadelphia.

Today, two months after hearing oral arguments from both sides (see previous stories), Judge Stanley Ott offered his opinion and ruling, saying he would not hear further arguments regarding the move of the multimillion-dollar art collection.

Attorney Ralph Wellington, who represents the Foundation, says he believes the judge applied the law to the circumstances in this case and came up with the right decision.

"On balance -- and I would say not surprisingly -- the court carefully reviewed both the legal issues and the factual assertions and concluded we've been through this all before," Wellington told KYW Newsradio.  "Enough already."

The Friends of the Barnes argued that there was new evidence in the case regarding the role of then-attorney general Mike Fisher, whom they say misled the judge prior to the initial ruling in favor of the move and the use of state money to pay for it.

The judge disagreed, and also ordered the petitioners to pay some of the fees and costs.  There was no immediate word on whether the Friends of the Barnes planned to appeal the judge's decision.

The Barnes is set to open to the public in Philadelphia in mid-May of next year.

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio 1060

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