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National Museums in Peril

    Naturevolume 100pages365368 (1918) | Download Citation



    THE report that the Government proposed to requisition the British Museum as the headquarters of the new Air Board has resulted in a storm of protest from many men of light and leading throughout the country, and from corporate bodies concerned with the promotion of the intellectual welfare of the nation. The correspondence published in the Times and other journals represents only a small fraction of the budgets received, and it is evident that the Government will bring upon itself nothing but obloquy if it persists in the action contemplated. Since we referred last week to the projected dismantling of the galleries at Bloomsbury, it has been made known that the Office of Works has surveyed the Natural History Museum at South Kensington with the view of using the building for the purposes of other Government departments, and has reported in favour of doing so. The very existence of our two greatest national institutions is thus threatened, unless a united effort is made at once to convince the Cabinet of the unnecessary and ruinous proceeding to which certain administrative officials, with the usual indifference to scientific interests and inability to understand scientific values, desire to commit it.

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