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Re: Governor trying to close the NJ State Museum


here at the Lower Saxony State Museum in Hannover we had to face a somewhat similar problem only two years ago. County government had the plan to turn our museum into a "Lower Saxony State Galerie", and to transfer the archaeological, geological, and ethnological departments to other musea or institutions - which would have left Hannover, the capital of Lower Saxony, without a museum for natural sciences. Rumor had it that parts of the collection were to be sold in order to finance that plan. Many if not most of those pieces were donations made by citizens of Hannover who wanted to make sure that their specimens remain in Hannover. The donators, many of which were/are organized in registered societies associated with the museum, went to the media (mostly local newspapers), and simply started to talk freely about their fears that what they had unselfishly worked for would all be lost for an "object of prestige" (the "State Galerie" mentioned above). Threats were uttered to take back donated specimens from the collections. Finally the government had to give in to the massive public protest, and the plan is, at least for the time being, off the table.

It was local (not national or even international) attention, and engagement of "concerned citizens" which made the difference. Especially the registered societies did a great job in raising public attention for the problem. After all there's nothing on earth or in heaven a politician fears more than loosing votes due to making unpopular decisions. Local registered societies, and collectors (especially if they have made donations to the collections in the past) may be your best chance to actually generate a lever able to spoil that governor's plan. Also consider local schools - if you can get any child to say something like "I dont wanna loose my dinosaurs!" in public, even if only a local newspaper or radio-station, that will generate a lot of public sympathy for your house, and against that governor's plan to close it.

All the best!

----- Original Message ----- From: "Bob Tess" <bobtess@dinoart.com>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 4:26 PM
Subject: Governor trying to close the NJ State Museum

Hi folks,

Having trouble forwarding the complete message, but the gist of it is that the #%$^& Governor of NJ is planning on closing the NJ State Museum and selling off its collections, including artwork donated "to the people of New Jersey" and its paleo collections which include rare East Coast dinosaurs.

How can he do this?

Anybody with any ideas what can be done let us know.


Bob and Tess