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I: Alert on SCMRE



-----Messaggio Originale-----
Da: "Penny Jones" <pjones@aic-faic.org>
A: <AIC-Announce@lists.Stanford.EDU>
Data invio: venerd́ 6 aprile 2001 18.11
Oggetto: Alert on SCMRE


> TE: 1
> FL:0
>
>
>
> Dear Members,
> The AIC has learned of  plans to close the Smithsonian Center for
> Materials Research and Education at the end of December this year.
> Clearly such an action raises grave concerns and the implications raised
> by the fact that our nation can not , or will not, support a resource of
> such importance are indeed troubling.  A letter has been sent to
> Lawrence Small, Secretary of the Smithsonian and a copy forwarded to
> Chief Justice William Rehnquist  and the Hon. Ralph Regula  Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee for
> Interior and Related Agencies expressing our concerns.  It is included
> below.  I would encourage you to write as well and take an active role
> in objecting to this action.
>
> Jerry Podany
> President
>
>
>
> April 5, 2001
>
>
> Lawrence Small
> Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution
> 700 Jefferson Drive
> Washington, DC 20560
> Via fax: 202-786-2515
>
> Dear Secretary Small:
>
> I am writing to express my deep concern regarding the upcoming
> announcement that the Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and
> Education (SCMRE) will be closed at the end of December. My concern is
> shared by the board of directors of the American Institute for
> Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, the entire AIC membership,
> and conservators both nationally and internationally.
>
> I realize that a shortfall in federal funding and a shift in
> organizational priorities within the Smithsonian place difficult and
> demanding challenges before your office.  However the implications and
> ultimate effect of eliminating one of the most valuable and essential
> resources to our nation's museums and to the efforts of cultural
> preservation around the world will be quite serious.
>
> For years, SCMRE has offered much-needed information and assistance to
> professionals working toward the better understanding and preservation
> of our nation's heritage.  The Center, in its research and application
> of both the physical and natural sciences to museum collections and
> archaeological sites, has provided one of the essential components
> necessary in preservation and stewardship. The symposia, exhibitions,
> and opportunities for both professional education and public outreach
> have been of enormous benefit in advancing conservation and
> preservation.  These efforts have also contributed broadly toward the
> public's deepening awareness of the value of our heritage and of the
> efforts made to maintain it.
>
> Certainly there is little need to bring to your attention the
> importance of appropriate stewardship.  You, yourself, have expressed a
> deep interest in the care of our nation's collections and have lauded
> the contributions of SCMRE, noting in particular that the recent
> exhibition "Santos: substance and soul" resulted in a deeper
> comprehension of the world's shared cultural heritage through the
> fruitful combination of technical studies, cultural studies, and
> educational outreach.
>
> SCMRE has indeed contributed a great deal.  The Center's research on
> environmental conditions for art, artifacts and collections, whether in
> transit, on exhibition, or in storage, has set new standards and has
> raised probing and important questions.  The Center has championed
> appropriate site preservation and carried out materials research with
> direct and practical importance.  A recent example of such research is
> being carried out on the degradation of cellulose products, which has
> considerable implications for the storage, use and long-term
> preservation of our nation's archives.  These are only a few of the many
> achievements and the substantial contributions made by the thirty staff
> members of the Center and by the many interns who have trained there and
> then have branched out internationally to continue their professional
> careers.  The mission of the Smithsonian Center for Materials Research
> and Education has been to act as a resource to the nation, to the
> nation's museums, and people.  They have done this and more.  They have
> acted to support stewardship in the most responsible manner possible and
> they have been exemplary ambassadors of our nation's concern for the
> long-term preservation of our shared world heritage.
>
> The closing of the Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and
> Education will be a devastating loss to the nation and to the nation's
> museums. The message sent to our nation and to the international
> community by this action will directly reflect the value our government
> agencies place upon our shared cultural property.  Ultimately, both the
> national and international efforts toward cultural preservation will be
> diminished by this decision. This is not the message we should be
> sending.
>
> Respectfully,
>
> Jerry Podany
> President
> The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works
>
>
> CC: Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist,
> Chancellor of the Board of Regents for the Smithsonian
> U.S. Supreme Court
> One First Street, NE
> Washington, DC 20543
>
> The Hon. Ralph Regula
> Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee for
> Interior and Related Agencies
>
> Dr. J. Dennis O'Connor
> Assistant Secretary for Science
> Smithsonian Institution
> 700 Jefferson Drive
> Washington, DC 20560
>
>
>
>
>
> -++**==--++**==--++**==--++**==--++**==--++**==--++**==
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