An Immaculate Smithsonian

by William Yeatman on November 14, 2007

The Smithsonian isn't going far enough in returning oil industry donations for its ocean exhibit ["Smithsonian Questions $5 Million in Oil Money," front page, Nov. 3].


If industry funding and museums really don't mix, then what business does the Smithsonian have even staying in existence? It was started, after all, by a bequest from James Smithson, a geologist and chemist who devoted his life to discoveries that were put to use in mines and factories and whose fortune probably had at least some roots in the Industrial Revolution that the Smithsonian directors are now trying to wash their hands of. An entity such as this is simply too pure to operate on this planet. It should call it quits and relocate to a more transcendental realm.

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