ASTC Establishes Science Museum Crisis Relief Program to Help Support Città della Scienza and Similar Science Institutions Facing Disasters

The Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) and all of its member institutions are deeply saddened by the recent news of the tragic fire that devastated the Città della Scienza in Naples, Italy. This interactive museum was regarded as a unique and valued scientific and cultural symbol in its local community and throughout Europe. Science centers and museums everywhere share in the deep sense of loss that accompanies this unfortunate disaster.
As a global organization with members throughout the world, ASTC has been moved by this recent catastrophe to establish a new initiative, the Science Museum Crisis Relief Program, to assist in every way possible the emergency needs of Città della Scienza and other science museums faced with similar unexpected and catastrophic circumstances. Through this effort, ASTC resolves to mobilize support wherever possible to help restore and revitalize museums like Città della Scienza in times of greatest need. Recently, for example, Science Alive!, our ASTC member institution in Christchurch, New Zealand also suffered disastrous consequences from a major earthquake in the region.
In establishing the ASTC Science Museum Crisis Relief Program, the Association has immediately undertaken several initial steps to support these two science museums that have been so critically impacted by recent disasters:
First, ASTC has formed a partnership with the Italian Embassy in Washington, DC to engage Italian friendship and business organizations throughout North America and, by extension, in all corners of the globe, to seek contributions for the restoration and revitalization of Città della Scienza in Naples. ASTC thanks the Italian Ambassador for his assistance and calls upon ASTC members to help by adding all available support to this effort.
In addition, ASTC has initiated a similar outreach effort in support of Science Alive in New Zealand, collaborating with the North American representative of New Zealand’s Business Chamber and Friendship Organization. Here too, ASTC thanks the Chamber’s president and urges ASTC members to continue their efforts to support the restoration of Science Alive in its community.
Science centers and museums throughout the world are universally recognized as deeply valued institutions in their communities. Crises in any of our centers are devastating to our many visitors and felt by us all. Through ASTC’s Science Museum Crisis Relief Program, we hope to mobilize support and highlight in every way the need for continuity in the services that our institutions offer to their visitors of all ages. We do this as well in the spirit of cooperation that we have for one another across our entire field.

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