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Subject: SCMRE


From: Ann B. N'Gadi <ngadia>
Date: Monday, September 17, 2001
On behalf of all of us at SCMRE, I want to express our sincere
appreciation for the truly enormous amount of support that we have
received in the past months, after the announcement of the
Smithsonian Institution's plan to close the laboratory by the end of
this year.

Many of you, individually as well as through the representatives of
your professional organizations, have protested these plans and have
given testimony to the importance of the contributions made by this
laboratory to your own work and to the enhancement of the
preservation and study of museum collection materials nationally and
worldwide. Your letters, phone calls, etc., to the Secretary of the
Smithsonian Institution, to its Board of Regents, and especially to
your representatives in the United States Congress, have certainly
not gone unnoticed and, I am pleased to let you know, have indeed
had a major effect.

In their Appropriations Bills for Fiscal Year 2002, neither the US
House of Representatives nor the US Senate approved the planned
closure of SCMRE. Instead, both Chambers instructed the Smithsonian
Institution to wait until a blue ribbon panel of prominent
scientists from both inside and outside the Smithsonian has
performed a thorough review of all scientific activities in the
Institution and formulated its recommendations with respect to
priorities, organizational structure, etc. This Science Review
Commission has been appointed and started its activities in
September, but expects to require up to one year's time to reach a
point where its final report will be issued. Only after the
commission has issued its report will proposals for organizational
changes, etc. be entertained by the appropriate committees of the US

The House and Senate versions of the FY2002 Appropriations Bill
contain several significant differences, one of which pertains to
the level of funding appropriated for the operation of SCMRE. Such
differences will have to be reconciled in the Conference process,
the outcome of which we still have to await. Yet, it is now clear
that regardless how the Conference committee resolves these
differences, SCMRE will for the immediately foreseeable future
continue to exist and operate its research, education and technical
information programs.

We, the staff of SCMRE, owe a large amount of gratitude to you, our
friends and colleagues, for giving us your support and intervening
so effectively on our behalf during the past difficult months. We
hope to be able to justify that support by continuing to do our best
in contributing to the fields of our common interests.

Lambertus van Zelst
Director, SCMRE

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:24
                Distributed: Tuesday, September 18, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-15-24-001
Received on Monday, 17 September, 2001

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