Fishing for sympathy

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By Rebecca Bowe

The saga of one of the biggest development battles in San Francisco took an unexpected turn today when Gap, Inc. founder and billionaire Don Fisher announced that he would back off from his plans for a private art museum in the Presidio. The proposed 100,000 square foot museum sparked widespread public outrage, with critics charging that it was an inappropriate location that wouldn’t jive with the surroundings.

The Chronicle broke the story this morning, quoting Fisher as saying:

"Doris and I will take some time to consider the future of our collection and other possible locations for a museum, which could include other sites within the Presidio and elsewhere," Don Fisher said, referring to his wife in a statement released to The Chronicle late Wednesday that also said the decision was made "with disappointment and sadness."

It must be tough, being a billionaire with a world-class art collection who can’t even build his very own private museum on an historic piece of public land without getting shouted down. Poor guy.

But as Fisher comes to grips with his "disappointment and sadness," museum opponents now have a cause for celebration.