Friday, April 22, 2011

Arizona Historical Society intends to defy Arizona law

As reported by KAET 8s Horizon program on April 19, 2011, the Arizona Historical Society provided this email message about the disposition of Arizona’s mineral collection: 
 Because we don’t wish to “warehouse” material thereby making them inaccessible to the public, working with others, we are developing plans to place displays at appropriate public locations and museums around the state.
This is a flat contradiction of a promise made by Judge Charles E. Jones in an April 10, 2010 “My Turn” editorial in the Arizona Republic. Judge Jones wrote:
The historic pieces of equipment and world class mineral and gem collection will remain prominently displayed. These objects are after all, the heart of any exhibit or program reflecting the importance and history of Arizona’s mining industry. Using modern display techniques, there is ample room for the continued prominence of the mineral exhibition.  We understand that one of the reasons this collection is “world class” is its comprehensive and integrated nature. Separating these valuable specimens would diminish both their value and impact.
Judge Jones is the president of the Arizona Centennial 2012 Foundation which has placed the sole source contracts for designing and building the centennial museum for the AHS.

However, the AHS is not just breaking a judge’s promise. It is actually defying Arizona law as established by House Bill 2251 (2010). The law clearly states that the entire existing mineral museum and its education programs will remain housed in a portion of the centennial museum building (ARS 41-827). Preliminary AHS plans also show removal of the historic pieces of equipment, and the AHS is already ending the education programs. (see Aug 15 post for further detail)

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