One way to explain the deep dismay is the age range of the Members of the Jury. All in their 50′ and 60′s, they have experienced New York in a pristine state, when the MoMA was still housed in the original museum building from the 30′s. Their reminiscences, and the bittersweet nostalgia it evokes, is most powerfully expressed by Michael Wolff when he is lamenting that “there was, when I came to New York in the 1970s, no more profound or moving experience than MoMA, an almost perfect piece of 20th Century modernist expression, existing in an extraordinary balance – modestly, functionally, elegantly – with the extraordinary art it held. (…) It really achieved the Holy Grail of public spaces. (…) Perhaps one of the most satisfying man-made spaces ever.”

Another explanation for this deep-seated resentment is the critics’ shared world view in which the expansion of a museum equals corporate greed. When the New York Times sends its architecture critic Michael Kimmelman to review a new museum, his opinion is never hard to predict. In his 2010 article on Maxxi, designed by Zaha Hadid and housing Rome’s national museum for contemporary art, he already proved himself a real prophet of doom: ”… the museum, begun in a climate of architectural hype that countenanced impractical, sometimes impossible, spaces in the name of sexy but increasingly clichéd curves, has an air of already bygone taste.” And after visiting the renewed Stedelijk Museum – Amsterdam’s self-proclaimed peer of the MoMA- he calledthe Benthem Crouwel Architects’ creation a “ridiculous looking building” and the result of “the money-fueled, headline-hungry, erratically ingenious era of indulgent museum design that began to peter out with the global economy.”