The latest volley to try to save the Illinois State Museum from closure came from a third-grader from Pekin.
“To the people who think the museum should close, think of how much fun your kids and family could have there,” said Richard Forbis to a House committee in Springfield Wednesday. “You can explore and have great adventures. There are fun activities and things to do. I don't know why the governor wants to close the museum. It would really hurt my feelings if the museum closed. I think the museum should stay open.”
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The museum includes satellite locations, one of which is in Lockport, where John Lustig is manager. “Natural history and art collections require constant, specialized care by our highly trained staff,” he said. “Objects must be continually evaluated for necessary repairs and stabilization.”
The Department of Natural Resources says it would save $4.8 million by closing the museum network, which, museum backers say, generates $33 million in tourism revenue. Other locations are at Dickson Mounds, Rend Lake, and Chicago.
SB 317 has passed the House Museums, Arts, and Cultural Enhancement Committee.