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Subject: SCMRE

SCMRE

From: Vera Espinola <icona>
Date: Friday, April 20, 2001
    To: Congressman Bill Young, 10th Congressional District,
    Florida: Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee,
    Washington, D.C.
    From: Vera Espinola-Beery, M.A.;  Objects conservator in private
    practice, St. Petersburg, Florida
    Re: SCMRE closing
    April 18, 2001

    Congressman Bill Young
    Suite 1480
    360 Central Ave.
    St. Petersburg, Florida 33701

    Dear Congressman Young,

    I'm a professional conservator trained at the Smithsonian
    Institution with a graduate degree from George Washington
    University. I recently learned that the S.I. Center for Material
    Research and Education  (SCMRE) is slated to close in December.
    This is very disturbing news to the thousands of conservators
    and museums, not only in our country, but in the world, too, who
    look to the Smithsonian as the 'university's university", just
    like a pathologist is the "doctor's doctor".

    It was SCMRE in Suitland, Maryland to whom I turned when Dr.
    Carl Kuttler, President of SPJC (St. Petersburg Junior College)
    needed information on storage materials for the new
    Leepa-Rattner Museum in Tarpon Springs a few years ago. I took a
    member of his personnel to Washington, D.C.  for two days and we
    toured the storage facilities at the Museum Support Center and
    had a lengthy talk with Dianne van der Reyden (the chief Paper
    Conservator at SCMRE) about paper storage and their needs, since
    most of the works of art from the Leepa-Rattner collection are
    works of art on paper. I took many photographs and notes and the
    visit was vital for the future of  SPJC's new museum.

    As a private conservator and also as U.S. curator of  "Treasures
    of the Czars", I've used SCMRE on many occasions for
    information. Where else will the conservators of the U.S. (and
    of the world) turn if SCMRE is allowed to close? Their research
    and up-to-the-minute information is vital to the preservation of
    historic works in all media. The Smithsonian Institution's name
    has been a source of pride in the United States. Little by
    little, it's name and research are being diminished. Once we
    dismantle the body of hard-working and vital scientists that
    work there, we can never gather them (or the institution's
    prestige) again. For our country's sake (and the world, too),
    please don't allow this to happen.

     Sincerely yours,

     (signed)
     Vera B. Espinola-Beery


                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:56
                  Distributed: Monday, April 23, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-14-56-004
                                  ***
Received on Friday, 20 April, 2001

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