Smithsonian stuck with poor storage facilities

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Smithsonian Institution’s inspector general says the museum complex continues to use substandard storage facilities in suburban Maryland to store important art and science collections.

Inspector General Scott Dahl testified before a House committee Wednesday that there are “significant risks” for artifacts stored at the Smithsonian’s Garber facility in Suitland. But inadequate funding is limiting plans to improve the care of collections.

The congressional hearing was called to provide an update of past audits of collections held by the National Museum of American History, National Air and Space Museum and National Museum of Natural History.

Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough says many audit recommendations have been satisfied. He says the Smithsonian invested $462 million in collections management since 2006. But the tight budget environment in Congress could affect future progress.

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