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Italy to Give All 18-Year-Olds Money to Spend on Art, Books

'Beauty is more tenacious than barbarism'

(Newser) - Italy thinks "cultural consumption" is important, and it's putting its money where its mouth is, to the tune of $330 million. The country is moving forward with its pledge to give every kid turning 18 this year in Italy €500 (roughly $560) to spend on "cultural... More »

Museum Visitor Caught on Video Breaking Rare Clock

'This is why we beg visitors not to touch'

(Newser) - Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Unless that clock has been smashed into pieces by a museum-goer with self-control issues. In that case, it's totally useless. NBC Philadelphia reports a visitor to the National Watch & Clock Museum in Pennsylvania was caught on video Tuesday poking... More »

It's Not So Easy for a Broke Museum to Sell Its Stuff

Field Museum an example of the struggles cultural institutions face

(Newser) - The Chicago Field Museum—perhaps best known as the home of Sue, the largest T. Rex skeleton ever discovered—is $5 million in debt, thanks to the recession and endowment-dinging stock market slumps. So when is it OK to start selling off dinosaur bones? NPR takes a look at the... More »

Turkey to US Museums: We Want Our Stuff Back

Nation seeks return of looted antiquities

(Newser) - Turkey has taken note of how neighbors Italy and Greece have cajoled US museums into returning their long-lost antiquities, and it wants in. The government has asked four American facilities—the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Met, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and Harvard's Dumbarton Oaks collection—to return... More »

World's Strangest Museums

Celebrate everything from Spam to toilets

(Newser) - The Huffington Post celebrated International Museum Day this week by compiling a list of some of the world's weirdest museums in the world.
  • The Museum of Bad Art : A celebration of the lame and tacky in Boston.
  • Iceland Phallological Museum in Husavik: The name refers to penises, and there'
... More »

'Miracle on Hudson' Jet Heading to NC Museum

Exhibit to focus on the technology that made miracle possible

(Newser) - More than two years after Chesley Sullenberger crash-landed his plane into the icy waters off New York City, the Airbus A320 dubbed "The Miracle on the Hudson" is going on display at a North Carolina museum, reports the AP . The plane has been sitting in a northern New Jersey... More »

The Unfortunate Fall of Chicago's Peace Museum

Three decades later, its treasured items sit in storage

(Newser) - Some of the most prized symbols of American peace have been languishing in water- and mold-damaged storerooms, disregarded items that are about to be doled out to other institutions in the Peace Museum's sad, final chapter. Last month, the Illinois attorney general was awarded control of numerous relics once contained... More »

The 20th Century's Biggest Art Heists

Even the Mona Lisa was lifted once

(Newser) - Yesterday’s massive theft from the Paris Museum of Modern Art is already being called the “heist of the century,” although we have a few years yet to see how it holds up. The Independent looked over the 20th century and compiled a list of 10 major art... More »

Thieves Grab Stolen Antiquities Exhibit

Recovered black-market items back on the black market

(Newser) - A museum exhibit featuring "Antiquities Theft in Israel" has become the victim of antiquities theft in Israel. Thieves broke into the museum in Ashdod, southern Israel, and stole the display of items recovered from the black market, the Telegraph reports. The antiquities theft squad that recovered the items, including... More »

Museum Puts 'Martian Colony' on Display

Alien microbacteria found on meteorite

(Newser) - A London museum that unwittingly hosted a fossilized colony of Martians for decades has put the alien life on display. NASA scientists who recently examined the Natural History Museum's fragment of the Nakhla meteorite believe bumps on its surface are fossilized Martian microbacteria, the Telegraph reports. The meteorite crashed into... More »

China To Scour Museums for Looted Art

Artifact team will hunt for Imperial Gardens booty

(Newser) - China is about to send teams of artifact hunters to the world's top museums to track down looted art treasures. They'll be on the lookout for art from the splendid Imperial Gardens of Yuan Ming Yuan, more commonly known as the Old Summer Palace, which was used by Chinese emperors... More »

Nation's Top Museums Free Tomorrow

Smithsonian Museum Day offers free online passes for 1,200 sites

(Newser) - Admission to over 1,200 museums across America will be free tomorrow as part of the Smithsonian's annual "Museum Day." The event is aimed at promoting culture and removing  "any  economic barrier" keeping people from enjoying museums, a Smithsonian exec tells USA Today. Museum-goers will need a ... More »

Ripley's Runs Low on Oddities

(Newser) - They just don’t make shrunken heads the way they used to. In fact, no one makes them at all, which is a big problem for Ripley’s Believe It or Not! The chain of “odditoriums” has expanded so far and so fast that its collection is stretched to... More »

12 Museums of Odd Things

(Newser) - Trying to awake from the nightmare of history? Mental Floss' list of 12 "oddly specific" American museums may only give you bad dreams:
  • The SPAM Museum: Complete with a wall of 5,000 SPAM tins and a scale plant where visitors can suit up in white coats and
... More »

For Sale: Soviet Sub, Very Rusty

Cold War relic once used in Harrison Ford film is too costly to restore, RI museum says

(Newser) - The former Soviet submarine used in Harrison Ford’s film K-19: The Widowmaker may be sunk for good. The cruise-missile sub, which served as a floating museum in a Rhode Island river until it foundered in a 2007 storm, will be sold for scrap if no one buys it by... More »

Jane Austen Museum Bans Fans' Ashes

Devotees were using her garden as their final resting place

(Newser) - The caretakers of Jane Austen's estate in England have issued an unusual plea to her devoted fans: Please stop having your ashes scattered in her garden. Museum representatives say they understand the passion but can't allow the practice. “It is distressing for visitors to see mounds of human ash,... More »

Black Museums Fight for Funding

Economy, depressing subject matter are issues; others cite little tradition in community

(Newser) - As Barack Obama’s fundraisers pull in huge sums of money for his historic candidacy, African-American museums across the country are struggling for cash and visitors, Portfolio reports. Part of the problem may be the flagging economy, but for the likes of the National Slavery Museum, the subject matter can... More »

This Just In: Newseum Opens

Relocated institution's self-glorifying quality leaves reviewer cold

(Newser) - The Newseum reopens today in its new, $450 million home off the National Mall, and reaction to the enterprise is mixed. Granting that the interactive, artifact-laden presentation of the history of news is a good mix of education and entertainment, Edward Rothstein of the New York Times also describes it... More »

Smithsonian Picks New Leader

Museum returns to academia roots, selects Ga. Tech president

(Newser) - The Smithsonian Institute today handed its top job to Georgia Tech President G. Wayne Clough, marking a return to the museum’s academic roots, the AP reports. Clough follows the troubled tenure of businessman Lawrence Small, who came under fire for raising executive salaries and for focusing more on money... More »

The House of Mirthlessness

Drowning in debt, Edith Wharton's Mass. estate faces foreclosure

(Newser) - Edith Wharton's masterpieces include The House of Mirth, but the story of her own house is much less joyous. Her estate in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, currently a museum called the Mount that chronicles her life and career, is drowning under some $9 million in debt. Now, writes the Berkshire ... More »

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