23 Feb 2010, 4:11pm
by admin

Interior Department faulted for preservation lapses

By Lee Davidson, Deseret News, Feb. 22, 2010 [here]

WASHINGTON — Inspectors say it is just one too-typical example of how Interior Department agencies care for — or don’t — the artifacts in their museums and research.

At the Boston National Historic Park, “antique furniture, carts and bicycles were stacked on top of each other or were leaning against each other without protection” in a storage area, a new inspector general report says.

At California’s Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, pests threatened displays of historic furniture. But “pest management controls were removed from the site due to the large volume of pests being trapped and they were unable to keep up with removing the pests being caught,” the report says.

“Countless artwork, artifacts and other museum objects are in jeopardy” because proper preservation and protection has been neglected at sites nationwide, according to reports on five separate Interior agencies released by the department’s inspector general last week.

None of the sites visited for the reports were in Utah. However, Utah was where a large federal raid occurred last year on private sellers of Indian artifacts found on public land. Officials then said such people were robbing the nation of its heritage. The new reports say poor preservation at federal museums may be doing the same.

The new reports follow up a report issued in December that said the department largely doesn’t know what is in its collections, often doesn’t know if items were obtained legally and didn’t appear to care for many items properly. … [more]



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