Smithsonian working to finalize deal for new site in London

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tags: Smithsonian, London



The Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum and research complex, is working to establish its first international museum outpost in London as that city redevelops its Olympic park, officials said Tuesday.

London's mayor and developers for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park site have secured $50 million in private contributions for the Smithsonian to be included in a new "Olympicopolis" cultural center that would open in 2021. A 40,000-square-foot Smithsonian gallery would feature permanent and rotating exhibits from Smithsonian sites including the National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of American History and National Museum of Natural History and various art galleries.

British money first established the Smithsonian in 1846. English scientist James Smithson left a $500,000 bequest to establish an institution "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge." This would be the first time the Smithsonian has opened a museum venue beyond U.S. borders.




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