There’s good news for the country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, which was in danger of losing some valuable musical artifacts.
Bob McLean, an investor from Murfreesboro, Tenn., was accused of swindling victims of more than $67 million in a Ponzi scheme. He committed suicide last year after investors filed an involuntary bankruptcy suit against him.
However, McLean pledged money to the Nashville museum to acquire two historic instruments – Bill Monroe’s 1923 Gibson mandolin, once priced at $1.1 million, and Mother Maybelle Carter’s 1928 Gibson guitar, once priced at $565,000. He also donated two Johnny Cash guitars, each valued at $125,000.
Fortunately for the museum, the trustee handling McLean’s bankruptcy filed a settlement Dec. 30 with the Country Music Foundation, which operates the facility.
It requires the museum to pay $750,00 to McLean’s bankruptcy estate to help pay back his creditors. However, as part of the settlement, which is still subject to court approval, the museum will write off the unpaid balance of McClean’s pledges: $870,850.
The trustee originally sought about $1.54 million from the museum. Its director, Kyle Young, said the museum did not have the money, and the instruments, like all of its collection, are held in trust for the benefit of the public.
“We could not merely turn them over to the trustee,” Young said.