Should You Donate Your Item to a Museum?

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I was recently asked by someone if they should donate an item to a local museum…

My answer is that unless the item is extremely rare and the museum actually needs it then NO. Everyone would be better served by selling the item and giving the museum money instead. The reason I feel this way is that most museums don’t have the room to display most of the material they already have and they are desperately in need of money. So, if you give them an item under these circumstances, it will most likely end up on a shelf in the basement never to see the light of day. Not to mention that it could be stolen or discarded down the road someday.

It really will be better for the item if you were to sell it to a collector who will be more likely to take care of it, display and share it with others, and pass it on to future collectors AND the museum will get much needed funds to continue their operations.

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