Citing the inability to commit to raising the $20 million dollars that would be needed to support the project, the American Numismatic Association Board of Governors voted unanimously to cancel plans to open a museum in Washington, DC.
“At this point in time we can’t make the financial commitment to raise over $20 million that would be needed for the Washington project. When the association’s finances allow us to do so, we may revisit this proposal in the future,” explained Barry Stuppler, ANA President.
The ANA will take up the expansion of the Edward C. Rochette Money Museum at the headquarters in Colorado Springs and their participation in the development of the American Money and Gold Rush Museum at the old mint building in San Francisco during the scheduled board meeting on October 15-16.
Although there was no reason provided why the Board did not wait until their scheduled meeting two weeks later, there may have been a commitment issue that had to be resolved at the beginning new federal fiscal year (FY08) that started on October 1.
Commitments for these museums were lead by Executive Director Christopher Cipoletti. Soon after, it was questioned whether the ANA can afford these commitments. This was one of the issues that lead to the questions of the ANA’s fiscal responsibility during the recent ANA elections. This was probably one of many reasons that Cipoletti was placed on leave when the new Governors were installed—even though the “official” reason was to prepare for a trial.
As a resident of the Metropolitan DC area, I am a little disappointed that the ANA will not be working to open a museum in the area. Maybe they can consider working with the Smithsonian Institute to find a place to display The National Numismatic Collection, the world’s largest, that closed in December 2004.