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The U.S. National Slavery Museum in Fredericksburg, Virginia, is in bankruptcy. The Ohr O'Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, Mississippi, is in financial trouble, and some other museums are in debt. The expenses of building and maintaining a museum are often estimated at well below the actual costs. Some of the donors to the Slavery Museum are asking that their pieces be returned to them. That will be up to the court.

anti-slavery meeting poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Cowan's Auctions, Inc.

Comments  

#3 former Educator NJMAjohannadeangelo 2011-10-01 18:24
The New Jersey Museum of Agriculture closed this year because of financial and political issues, unfortunately, I feel the political issues prevented some funding that may have sustained the NJMA. The Garden State without it's Ag Museum, a tragic loss. The New Jersey Museum of Agriculture had many valuable educational programs, hosting over 10,000 NJ school children annually. The NJMA collection consisted of over 70,000 agricultural artifacts, second only to the Smithsonian in agricultural artifacts. When the words hit the press about the Museum closure - people swarmed the Museum like vultures to remove "donations". It's a horrible shame - a collection of that magnitude and importance will never be assembled again. It's a very difficult situation for donors, patrons, staff and board members. What happens to these items? Are they to be put in storage? And where does this funding come from? Are they to be sold to the highest bidder? And then if a Museum no longer exists - who benefits? Sadly, many Museums face uncertain futures.
I would always recommend a donor to stipulate the return of a family heirloom if a Museum closes it's doors.
#2 to be or not to be GIVEN BACKjammie 2011-09-29 18:51
IF the items were not given but loaned to the museum then the museum would be obligated and by LAW required to return the property to the rightful owners . If the owners of the property art treasures gave the museum their belongings then no there shouldn't be any lawsuit in the first place. I see the former owners dilemma and heart break to this situation and the museum should give them the option to buy it back if it was given to the museum . I dont know the whole jus so its only a observation and quick address to this terrible atrocity of our economy . How can the museums even consider not returning the objects to the rightful owners ? Are they ready for more financial problems for their county or city to bear the burden ? There has to be a someone or someones that are going to profit tremendously from this abrupt disobedience of the Law .
#1 museum troublestwilightstar 2011-09-28 13:41
Re Two museums in trouble The National Slavery Museum of Fredericksburg Va. and the Ohr O'Keefe Museum in Biloxi, take a look at these two links:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2041058/National-Slavery-Museum-Virginia-files-bankruptcy-debts-3m.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

http://www.nola.com/arts/index.ssf/2010/11/the_ohr-okeefe_museum_designed.html

Museums get into big trouble when they get in over their head with elaborate plans and gigantic building projects they can never sustain.

In the case of both of these museums I think that is a major part of the problem. The slavery museum bought 38 acres of land and had plans for a monstrosity of a glass building. And the fact that the courts will decide if donors can get their artifacts back or not? Oh My God!

And the Ohr O'Keefe, A debt of $40 million? Unbelievable. What admission fees did they think they were going to charge to sustain THAT?

What is wrong with finding a good solid older AFFORDABLE building?

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