Letter: Berkshire Museum plan violates ethical code

Posted
To the editor:

Having been bypassed in the reported two-year community outreach by the Berkshire Museum's planning process, I found last week's articles and your editorial endorsement of the museum's plans a shocking surprise.

The Berkshire Museum is a member of the American Alliance of Museums. That organization's code of ethics clearly states that funds from the deaccessioned objects from a museum's collection should be used only for "acquisition or direct care of collections," That means that money from the sale of art should be used only to buy new relevant items or invest in existing collections.

While the proposed plans sound positive, the Eagle articles don't specify what architectural modifications are contemplated, and there seems to be no public list of the art which the museum plans to sell.

It looks like the Berkshire Museum plans largely to give up one of its historic functions as an all-around community museum. It holds some very important pictures and artifacts that are part of the region's cultural patrimony, and were donated and accepted on the understanding that they would remain part of the museum's mission.

It is more than troublesome to see the director and board of the museum blithely acting to curtail so drastically the fine arts part of the museum's function in a way that contravenes an ethical code that is the national standard for good museum practices.

Richard S. Jackson, Jr.,

Stockbridge



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