Previous posts on this blog documented the plight of the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum. The states other mineral museum (University of Arizona Mineral Museum at Flandreau Science Center) is also in trouble.
The UA Mineral Museum can trace it roots back to at least 1892. Mineralogy was one of the original subjects taught at the university. For over a hundred years, it has served as an educational tool for mining engineering and geology. It also serves K -12 students on field trips, and has undoubtedly sparked the careers of many scientists and engineers.
In 2009, faced with budget cuts in a failed economy, the university cut off funding for the museum. It was saved, at least temporarily, by Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold, Inc.
Freeport provided a $250,000 grant to at least keep the museum open several days a week. Ironically, Freeport had provided a one million dollar endowment to support he mineral museum just the year before the university decided to close it.
Curiously, while attempting to save one mineral museum, Freeport may at the same time be killing another. Rumors persist about Freeport providing a one million dollar grant for the 5CArizona Centennial Museum. As reported in prior posts on this blog, that new history museum will displace the top rated Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum.
Freeports apparently contradictory actions continue to bewilder mineral museum supporters.
$1,000,000 donated to UA mineral museum, Renee Schafer Horton, Tucson citizen, February 14, 2008
Flandrau center’s doors aren’t completely closed, Aaron Mackey, Arizona Daily Star, July 21, 2008
Mineral Museum continues to be open to the Public, Sam Kane, UA News, June 29, 2009
UA Mineral Museum saved – for now, www.allbusiness.com, July 1, 2009
Freeports $1 million donation to UA Mineral Museum, www.arizonageology.blogspot.com, March 14, 2008
Major contribution to Centennial Museum reported, www.arizonageology.blogspot.com, August 4, 2010