The top member of the House Administration Committee is making a call to congress to financially preserve Black history.
On Tuesday, Representative Robert Brady (D-Pa.) sent a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agency Appropriations addressing concern over the lack of funding for the Smithsonian Institute in the 2012 Appropriations bill.
The current bill would give only $50 million to the Institute, the same amount given last year, and less than half of the $125 million in federal contributions originally requested by the Smithsonian.
“With the ground-breaking on the African-American Museum currently scheduled for the summer of 2012, underfunding it now, at this critical juncture, could generate substantial delays and ultimately cost tax payers significantly more,” Brady wrote in the letter.
Calling the growing backlog of Smithsonian maintenance issues “unacceptable,” Brady expressed that the lack of funding will freeze overall spending for the entire Smithsonian Institute and halt the progress of making the African-American Museum a reality.
The museum is set to open in 2015. Earlier this month BET.com reported that some of the artifacts on display at the museum will include a collection of iconic lights, featuring two 10-foot wide neon signs used between 1993 and 2006 on the famous show Soul Train. It will also house a famous 19-century watercolor painting of a slave ship in route to America, amongst other historic artifacts.
Financial attention not paid toward the museum, Brady warns, will continue to contribute to the maintenance backlog and ultimately cost taxpayers more.
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(Photo: Julian Stratenschulte/Landov)