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Re: replicas & museum funding

>There used to be a trade in casts & actual specimens among museums. 
>However, many musuems are really strapped for funds, and can barely keep
>their own staff on hire, so that finding the funds for transportation and
>mounting (at the bare minimum) are prohibitively expensive.
>Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.

Have you asked for volunteers to help mount fiberglass casts? If I lived near
a museum, I would be happy to volunteer time to do this kind of work, and I
think others would, too.
The revenue from the sales of casts to the public could more than pay for more
preparators to mold them.

>I always thought the best solution to the Sue problem was to keep the real
>specimen in the Smithsonian (the U.S. federal museum), while casts could be
>provided to BHI and the Souix nation.
>Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.

I think this is a good solution to the question of allowing amateur collecting.
The museum gets to keep the original, for scientific analysis, and the amateur
who finds something gets a complimentary fiberglass cast (one of many to be
sold). This would motivate many amateurs to help look for those 99% of fossils
being lost to erosion.

Scott Horton
Geophysicist/Computer Programmer