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April 17, 2013

Smithsonian to close galleries due to cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Budget cuts from Congress will soon reduce the number of free exhibitions on view each day at the Smithsonian Institution and will furlough U.S. Park Police officers who guard the nation’s monuments.

Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough testified yesterday in Congress that the museum complex must reduce its security contract for gallery attendants because of budget cuts. As a result, the Smithsonian plans to begin rolling gallery closures after May 1.

Clough says the Smithsonian will likely postpone or cancel some exhibits for 2014.

The Smithsonian had to reduce its budget by $41 million due to across-the-board cuts imposed by Congress. Separately, the National Archives saw a $20 million cut and already reduced its operating hours.

The National Park Service is making $153 million in cuts, leading to police furloughs.

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