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Controversial Barnes Foundation Passes Included in Philly's New Hotel Promo

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  Site Where: Various Hotels [map], Philadelphia, Pennsylvania , United States
January 29, 2013 at 9:49 AM | by | ()

If Philadelphia is indeed a blue-collared industrial city, someone better let the artists and curators in town know about it. So far, all they've done is improve the scenery with a top-tier arsenal of murals and museums. From the brains in jars at the Mutter Museum to the infamous Rocky-run steps of the Art Museum, Philly is stacked with artistic and historical culture.

The latest promotion out of the City of Brotherly Love is centered around this strength. Ten hotels are participating, including the Four Seasons on the Ben Franklin Parkway and the new Hotel Monaco at Independence Hall, with a two-day With Art Philadelphia pass and two trolley tour passes included in the rate. The With Art Philadelphia package gives you access to the Barnes Foundation, Museum of Art, Rodin Museum, Perelman Museum, Academy of Fine Arts, and the Penn Museum. You can see all the hotels along with the fine print here.

Are you familiar with the Barnes Foundation? If not, that in itself is a good excuse to cruise into town for an overnight from New York or Baltimore as the Barnes is, in addition to being an incredible display of art, drenched in controversy. In short, when Albert Barnes died in 1951, he left behind what is estimated to be a $25 billion art collection, mostly impressionist and modernist works. Despite his wishes to keep the pieces "in exactly the places they are" in the building next to his home in Lower Merion, a two-year legal process resulted in the collection's move to Center City in an attempt to improve the Foundation's financial situation and bring tourism dollars to the city. The 2009 documentary The Art of the Steal covers the whole ordeal, and you can read more about it online.

If you're interested in the Barnes and you fancy a stay at the Four Seasons, they also have a separate promotion that gives you two tickets and breakfast included with a room. Conveniently located down the road from the Barnes Foundation and the Four Seasons is the Museum of Art, where you can run up the stairs and take touristy Rocky photos. Go on a Friday and check out Art After 5 for live music and wine.

The With Art Philadelphia promotion is available until March 31st. Rates for the package start at $205 a night.

[Photos: Bloomberg.com/Visit Philly/Facebook]

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