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NYC’s Natural History Museum Shutters Two Massive Native Exhibits

Carlo Allegri/Reuters
Carlo Allegri/Reuters

In the wake of new federal rules requiring museums to get the go-ahead from tribal leaders before including cultural items in galleries, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City announced Friday that it will shut down two massive halls, spanning 10,000 square feet, that house Native American objects. “The halls we are closing are artifacts of an era when museums such as ours did not respect the values, perspectives and indeed shared humanity of Indigenous peoples,” museum president Sean Decatur said in a letter obtained by The New York Times. “Actions that may feel sudden to some may seem long overdue to others.” The museum will now sort through its collection to make sure it is following the latest regulations, a process institutions across the country have had to undergo. Natural history museum exhibits on the Eastern Woodlands and the Great Plains will remain closed during that time, the newspaper reported. “Some objects may never come back on display as a result of the consultation process,” Decatur said. “But we are looking to create smaller-scale programs throughout the museum that can explain what kind of process is underway.”

Read it at The New York Times

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