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Anonymous Patron writes "New York Times Reports on the Smithsonian Institution, which is falling apart.Ominous drips from strained expansion joints have sprinkled down amid Asian artifacts in the institution's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. The historic Arts and Industries Building is closed to visitors to protect them from metal panels dropping from its beautiful but dilapidated ceiling. At the National Air and Space Museum, a water stain mars the Lilienthal hang glider that inspired the Wright Brothers to fly. Even the 1940's prototypes of what was to become seemingly indestructible Tupperware were irreparably damaged in a plumbing breakdown."
Kathleen writes "Early next year, U.S. restrictions on importing artifacts stolen from Italian museums and archaeological sites will expire. In effect since 2001, the bilateral agreement that imposed these restrictions has helped catch criminals and has shown America's commitment to protecting an important part of our world heritage. This gesture of goodwill has also led Italy to allow long-term loans of important artifacts and works of art to American museums and institutions, so that the American public can learn more about Italy's rich and storied past.
See the U.S. State Department, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs on International Cultural Property Protection.
kathleen writes "With the reauthorization of the Museum and Library Services Act in September 2003, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) was charged with increased analysis of museum and library trends and needs. As one step in developing a plan to
implement this new charge, IMLS requires a regular report on the status of data collection about the nationâ€™s museums. The most recent IMLS report was completed in 1998. In the summer of 2004, the IMLS asked McManis & Monsalve Associates to update this report. This new study examines the status of museum data sources produced between 1999 and 2004 and projected through 2006. It includes a comprehensive listing of the information sources that meet the selection criteria, and assesses the general strengths and weaknesses regarding the status of museum data, with a particular emphasis on the national perspective. Full report is available as a pdf file."