Saturday, October 2, 2010

An international embarrassment: the 5C Arizona Centennial Museum:

The 5C Arizona Centennial Museum will be an international embarrassment no matter what the quality of its displays may be. That is because of the loss of the existing top rated mineral museum it is displacing and because of the annual Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.

The annual Tucson show attracts over 50,000 visitors a year from around the world. They come from Thailand, China, Brazil, Poland, Italy, Africa, Australia, Indonesia, Canada, Russia, and many other countries. Depending upon which review you read, the Tucson show is either the largest gem or mineral show in the USA, or the largest in the world. Since fossils were added to the agenda, it has been described as the largest natural science show in the world.

The “show” is actually over 40 different shows scattered over the city of Tucson in two dozen different locations. Virtually every hotel and motel is filled with mineral dealers or buyers. Dealer’s rooms become shops by day. Various surveys place the impact on the Tucson economy between 75 million and 110 million dollars. It is the largest annual event in the city of Tucson.

Visitors coming to the two week show spend and average of 20 days in Arizona. About 50 percent take extra time to sight see and take tours. About 20 percent visit museums.

Now, just what might type of museum might attract this international crowd? The existing Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum in Phoenix is an obvious choice, and is closely associated with this international Tucson event. For Arizona to eliminate the mineral museum in favor of another history museum will appear ludicrous.

Each year, the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum has placed a guest display in the 180,000 square foot main show in the Tucson Convention Center, as do other museums from around the world. Prestigious museums such as the Smithsonian and the Sorbonne have participated in the Tucson show.

Eliminating the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum will appear incomprehensible to this large crowd of international visitors, especially since Arizona is the number one mining state for non fuel minerals. The huge Tucson show, begun is 1955, is in Tucson because of Arizona’s exceptional mineral resources. Many of Arizona’s mines are world famous among mineral collectors because of the prized specimens those mines have produced.

Why would you close a top rated and internationally recognized mineral museum to build another history museum?

Arizona will suffer international embarrassment.

Note: Statistics for this blog currently (Oct 16th) show viewers in Canada, South Africa, Ghana, Brazil, Japan, Indonesia, China, India, and Vietnam.


  1. Good point! The AHS has a whole other museum in Papago Park. Its empty most of the time. Since they started charging the attendance has dropped. Any new exhibits there lately? No.The Gov. just wants a party house for the "Centennial". Dick: Tne AHS is having their annual meeting in about 2 weeks. Pay the membership and show up and ask some questions.This is your chance. AHS is also running a museum in Flagstaff now. And dont forget they have just over 400 days until the Centennial. Raise millions, and desisn and build and install an exhibit that way.
    Consult with the "Three Sonorans" in the Tucson Citizen. He has a voice and can be effective. Attack my friend...Attack.

  2. As a result of the previous suggested contact with the Tucson Citizen, they have added this blog to their "In the Aggregate" category under their political blogs. Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. Challenging the AHS at their meeting may be a way to vent some frustration, but it cannot solve the problem. The AHS is not in control. The absurd centennial museum is the Governors pet project, and she manipulated the AHS into managing it for her. This is a fight with the Governor.

  4. The AHS has been planning this for a long time. You cannot be the only one who makes that decision. send a few volunteers to the AHS Annual meeting and see how they are treated. Its more than the governor.

  5. As best as I can determine, planning began about June of 2009. There is a June letter the AHS sent to the Governor begging to be exempted from budget cuts. If you look at the AHS board meeting minutes (on their website) you will see their Director claims this was all the Governors idea. You can decide whether or not you want to believer her.

    I hope some mineral museum supporters do go to the AHS meeting and make their membership aware of the destructive and unprofessional behavior the AHS has engaged in. I can't do that. I was exposed to unending AHS blather twice while opposing the centennial museum bill. I will not listen to that ---- again.

  6. Well said Dick. If anyone believes the director there is a bidge in Brooklyn that maybe for sale.
    Send the volunteers. After AHS takes over they will have NO role.

  7. Unfortunately, I believe you are right. Thus far, the AHS has expressed no intention of complying with the amendment to the bill discussed in the August 15 post. The amendment, negotiated by mineral museum supporters, was designed to preserve the basic elements of the mineral museum within the centennial museum building.

    For those willing to take a message to the AHS membership, their annual membership meeting will be held on Saturday, November 6th. It will be held at 1300 N, College Ave. in Tempe, and it starts at 8:30. Details are on the AHS website.

  8. Go and deliver the message in person. The Mineral Museum Volunteers wont have a museum to go to if you dont fight this Saturday. They think they can "gag" the volunteers. I wonder if that is legal??
    Who would want to work an a museum if what they think of you is to gag them. Nice way to treat the volunteers!
    If you dont fight back you wont have a museum that you remember to work in. Watch out, dont bump into the fruitpicking and tourism exhibit!!!
    Say goodbye to your mineral museum.