NEW YORK, March 3 (UPI) -- New York's Metropolitan Opera House says it is using its lobby murals by Russian-born artist Marc Chagall to secure a long-term loan.
The New York Post quoted the Manhattan institution's spokesman Peter Clark as confirming the artworks are being used as collateral.
The newspaper said Clark declined to disclose the size of the loan or the estimated value of the paintings, however.
The famed opera company said last month its $300 million endowment had decreased, while donations were plummeting. As a result, the Met slashed senior staff salaries by 10 percent and cut four performances out of its schedule for next season.
The Post noted that the Met is one of several U.S. opera companies to experience financial troubles in the current economy. The Baltimore Opera has declared bankruptcy, the Connecticut Opera has closed its doors and companies in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Santa Ana, Calif., have suspended productions.