Smithsonian is losing $1million PER WEEK in visitor revenue as its 19 museums and the National Zoo remain shuttered due to the government shutdown
- The institution’s 19 museums in Washington have been closed since January 2
- Smithsonian secretary David J Skorton says the revenue loss has been disastrous
- The 173-year-old institution is used to hosting 45,000 visitors daily on average
- 4,000 Smithsonian employees remain furloughed as the shutdown hits day 34
- Animals living in the Smithsonian-run National Zoo are still being cared for
The Smithsonian Institution is losing about $1million per week because of the partial government shutdown, officials say.
The collection of 19 museums in Washington, DC, – the world’s largest museum, education and research complex – has been closed since January 2 because of the shutdown, which hit day 33 on Wednesday.
The closure is definitely taking its toll on the 173-year-old institution, Smithsonian secretary David J Skorton wrote in a USA Today op-ed on Tuesday.
‘The closure of restaurants, shops, IMAX theaters and other operations is costing the Smithsonian approximately $1million in revenue each week,’ Skorton wrote.
‘These losses are not recoverable. They will have a lasting effect on our budget for this fiscal year. And that effect grows each day.’
The Smithsonian Institution is losing about $1million per week because of the partial government shutdown, which hit day 33 on Wednesday. The collection of 19 museums in Washington, DC, closed their doors on January 2 after funds ran out. A tour group is seen peering through the windows of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on January 9
The world’s largest museum, education and research complex hasn’t welcomed anyone through its doors in over three weeks – a drastic change from the typical 45,000 daily visitors
Thanks to carry-over funds from the previous fiscal year, the Smithsonian was able to keep operations up at its museums and the National Zoo for 11 days after the shutdown kicked off on December 22.
However, those funds barely stretched into the new year, and the museums haven’t welcomed any visitors through their doors in over three weeks – a drastic change from the 45,000 people the institution is used to hosting daily.
President Donald Trump (above Tuesday) and Congressional Democrats remain in a stalemate over his demand for $5.7billion to built a wall along the southern border. In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of federal employees have gone without pay
Meanwhile, some 4,000 furloughed Smithsonian employees are feeling the financial effects like most other federal workers.
‘Each day of the shutdown has palpable effects on this proud and venerable cultural institution, the people we serve and the members of the Smithsonian family,’ Skorton wrote.
‘We have heard many stories, within the Smithsonian and far beyond, that indicate the direct human toll of the shutdown.
‘I hope that these effects will soon come to a halt, and that we will be able to again serve the American public as we have for more than 172 years.’
While it’s not accepting visitors right now, the Smithsonian-run National Zoo has still been able to feed and care for its animals.
Unfortunately, the zoo’s live cameras – including the fan-favorite panda cam – have been shut off during the stalemate.
Two competing proposals to end the government shutdown are set for a vote in the Senate on Thursday.
One is favored by Republicans, and the other is favored by Democrats. Neither appears likely to pass.
Though it’s not accepting visitors right now, the Smithsonian-run National Zoo (above) has still been able to feed and care for its animals amid the longest government shutdown in US history