Smithsonian closing some spaces due to sequester

The Smithsonian Institution museums in Washington have had to close some spaces due to the effects of the federal budget cuts known as sequestration, the organization announced this week.

The budget cuts have resulted in a reduction in a contract for security that supplements the Smithsonian security force, which in turn has necessitated the closure of certain spaces, the organization said.

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Three locations have been affected: The Hirshhorn Museum is closing some sections of its permanent collection galleries; the National Museum of African Art is shutting down part of the permanent exhibition "African Mosaic"; and the Smithsonian Castle is closing its Commons space, used for displaying objects from around the institution's museums.

Dates of the closures are set for May 1 through Sept. 30. The Smithsonian said in a release that no major exhibitions have been closed and that the "safety and security of the public and collections will not be compromised."

The Washington Post has reported that Smithsonian is eliminating $42 million from its budget as part of the congressionally mandated budget cuts. 


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