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Smithsonian to Suffer More Severe Sequestration Stoppages

Closing exhibits will not be replaced to save on security costs.

Headed to DC to take in a few Smithsonian exhibits? Be prepared for fewer choices.

Exhibits that are scheduled to close at the Hirshhorn, National Museum of African Art and Smithsonian will not be replaced due to sequestration, according to a Smithsonian spokeswoman.

Linda St. Thomas told the DCist website that “in terms of the security of our visitors, bigger crowds require more security,” but she added, “Every museum is still open every day.”

The actual number of exhibits accessible to visitors at open museums are yet another casualty of sequestration.

On April 16, Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough warned Congress of the potential effects of sequestration on the area’s museums - gallery closings, reduced educational program offerings and building maintenance issues.

The Hirshhorn, National Museum of African Art and Smithsonian began roping off parts of their buildings on May 1--closures that will last until September 30.

St. Thomas said that a Civil War-era exhibit at the American Art Museum, which closed on April 28, would not be replaced, nor would an orchid display at the Museum of Natural History.

According to St. Thomas, fewer exhibits means fewer security guards, an important element of maintaining the safety of the more-accessible objects, those not protected by glass cases or out of reach.

The closures come at the start of the Smithsonian’s busiest tourist season.

Richard Rice May 06, 2013 at 04:23 PM
Why is it that the exhibits of the Smithsonian and probably National Gallery suffer yet our president and congress never have to give up any of their pet projects? George Orwell's 1984 in actuality perhaps. Sad, very sad!!!

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