Smithsonian Water Stains
August 25, 2005 2:02 PM   Subscribe

Smithsonian's latest exhibit includes catastrophic leaks that are damaging priceless treasures. Many items have been destroyed beyond repair and the problem seems to be getting worse. Will certain history be wiped out for good because officials lacked foresight?
posted by Guerilla (17 comments total)
They ought to, you know, move that stuff untill they can get the leaks fixed...
posted by delmoi at 2:24 PM on August 25, 2005

No one would have the foresight to protect Tupperware from a water pipe rupture.
posted by smackfu at 2:28 PM on August 25, 2005

Can't the Smithsonian afford, oh, I don't know, a tarp?
posted by Mach5 at 2:45 PM on August 25, 2005

Did you guys read the article? Some of the stuff damaged was Tupperware (which you'd think wouldn't be quite so sentitive) that was stored in a glass case under two plastic sheets. So umm... thanks for the bright idea Mach5, but they'd already done that and more and it still wasn't enough.
posted by raedyn at 2:48 PM on August 25, 2005

Although I'm sure the hang glider is historic, I doubt the canvas is original. So that looks worse than it is.
posted by smackfu at 2:48 PM on August 25, 2005

I wonder if they can get the stains out with some Oxy Clean.
posted by Guerilla at 2:50 PM on August 25, 2005

You're correct, smackfu. The Wright flyers on display at NASM are the original wood frames, but the canvas is completely new, since the old canvas has long rotted away. Someone here on MeFi is a NASM manager of some sort; I forget who, though.
posted by brownpau at 2:52 PM on August 25, 2005

I actually think the management in charge of the Smithsonian has been doing a good enough job for exhibits and audience retention. But they still didn't notice that the roof was collapsing.
posted by cleverusername at 2:53 PM on August 25, 2005

Oh, and as irony has it, why didn't they just store the prized and traumatic Tupperware in ... well... more Tupperware?
posted by cleverusername at 2:54 PM on August 25, 2005

I'm returning all my tupperware. That's the last time I buy anything at a "party."
posted by drezdn at 3:56 PM on August 25, 2005

The prized tupperware was stored in some slightly less prized, but still very valuble tupperware.
posted by parallax7d at 4:03 PM on August 25, 2005

It's frustrating to read that donors are primarily interested in new construction to hang their names on.

In my book, that's not really true to the letter of philanthropy.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 4:07 PM on August 25, 2005

Man, I sure wish I could choose where my tax dollars went.
posted by Specklet at 4:11 PM on August 25, 2005

To put the Smithsonian budget shortfall in perspective, their budget for the entire year is spent every four or five days in Iraq.

I'm just sayin'...
posted by Daddio at 4:11 PM on August 25, 2005

Historical photos of the Smithsonian. Because they're neat.
posted by smackfu at 6:14 PM on August 25, 2005

I once had a job interview in the Arts and Industries building, to work on the Smithsonian Magazine website. It was a pretty neat juxtaposition, working on something so high-tech in such a low-tech place.

The pay and opportunity for advancement were very low, though--it was basically a two-person operation, and the boss clearly wasn't planning on going anywhere soon. I imagine that's one of the problems of the whole organization--the old guard is deeply entrenched, and not particularly motivated to do anything new.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:31 AM on August 26, 2005

Oxi Clean does rock.

Even in the best of times there is going to be a certain amount of damage. Objects become increasingly rare over time untill eventually the only thing that survives are stone tools. Second Law of Thermodynamics.
posted by stbalbach at 9:10 AM on August 26, 2005

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