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Most Smithsonian funding intact under budget deal
Monday - 4/18/2011, 3:26pm EDT
WASHINGTON - The Smithsonian Institution will see a $1.8 million cut in its 2011 budget under the spending deal approved by Congress.
Details of the budget released Monday include a $759.6 million appropriation from Congress, down from $761.4 million last year. Most Smithsonian funding remains intact with a small reduction for salaries and expenses.
Last year, Republican leaders in Congress complained the Smithsonian was misusing taxpayer funds with a National Portrait Gallery exhibit that explored gay themes in art history. A video in the exhibit drew complaints from a Catholic group, and the Smithsonian removed the piece.
Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas said there were no cuts to major programs in the appropriation from Congress.
For 2011, there is $125 million for construction and revitalization projects. That includes $20 million for planning and design of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and $10.6 million for revitalization at the National Museum of Natural History and National Zoo. The Natural History Museum also will receive $16.6 million to replace its mechanical systems and windows.
The National Museum of American History will receive $18 million to convert its parking garage into space for collections storage.
Major construction funding for a new museum devoted to black history is still pending in the 2012 budget.
(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)