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ROYAL CORNWALL MUSEUM FORCED TO SELL OFF EXHIBITS AFTER FUNDING CUTS

February 18, 2010 9:42 PM

Trustees and staff at the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro are facing a difficult future with the loss of major funding.

In the past, the museum has been funded to the tune of £800,000 a year by Renaissance in the Regions. The fund was set up to recognise the important role regional museums play in preserving, and displaying, exhibits for the public. The museum trustees have now put in place a raft of measures to reduce costs, and are looking at additional ways of fundraising, including selling off two large paintings.

"More than 117,000 people visited the Royal Cornwall Museum last year, and 60% of them came back for return visits," said Terrye Teverson, Liberal Democrat PPC for Truro and Falmouth, who visited the museum last week.

"The current funding will end next year, and threatens one of our most valuable educational resources as well as a major tourism destination. There is no doubt these cuts will severely curtail some of the excellent work done here - particularly with older people suffering from Alzheimer's."

Mrs Teverson met with Museum Director, Hilary Bracegirdle and Head of Development, Georgia Butters, and was shown the Mylor Hoard of 33 axes and the pot they were buried in more than 2500 years ago.

"It seems so unfair that cuts to public services will hit such an outstanding museum. The Government have been able to bail out the banks, and now those same banks need to help by sponsoring regional museums not just the big names like the V & A and the British Museum," Mrs Teverson added.

"The museum is a wonderful place for visitors and locals alike. Local schools use the museum as a learning resource. We all need to get behind our museum. I think the government needs to realise that the regions are also important and need support. It's hard to get sponsors in an area like Cornwall. We live a long way from London and Cornish families need to be able to learn about the rich cultural heritage they come from."