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National Museum Cardiff will no longer maintain expertise in mineralogy and petrology
  
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James Catmur
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PostPosted: Feb 26, 2024 06:51    Post subject: National Museum Cardiff will no longer maintain expertise in mineralogy and petrology  

Published at the request of Phil Taylor

Phil Taylor wrote:
We are writing to enlist your support in trying to overturn the decision that the National Museum Cardiff will no longer maintain expertise in mineralogy and petrology, resulting in the existing curatorial staff being made redundant.

Many of you will know Tom Cotterell, Jana Horak and Andrew Haycock who for many years have been the familiar and friendly faces of mineralogy and petrology in Cardiff. The proposed new structure will see all these posts being lost, and with them decades of knowledge, experience and expertise.

The National Museum has an historically important and comprehensive mineral collection which incorporates the fine collection of Dr Robert J. ‘Bob’ King which was purchased by NMW in 1983. Bob’s collection consisting of some 9,000 specimens was accessioned straight into the museum’s main mineral collection. It contains the very best specimens from both Bob King and Harry Harwood and its acquisition transformed the National Museum of Wales’ mineral collection into one of National Importance, with significant international classics.

Without competent knowledgeable curatorial staff the mineral collections of the National Museum Cardiff must be viewed as being significantly at risk.

The proposed changes are the result of a general funding crisis across Wales, which affects other bodies such as Natural Resources Wales and the National Library of Wales.

Given the present focus on the importance of minerals (particularly so-called ‘critical metals’, necessary for the ‘green economy’ and our low carbon future), this decision seems particularly short-sighted and ill thought through.

You will find many articles across the media highlighting the desperate situation across Wales e.g. https://advisor.museumsandheritage.com/news/museum-workers-in-wales-to-set-to-protest-over-cuts/

Please will you write to the Chief Executive Jane Richardson at jane(dot)richardson(at)museumwales(dot)ac(dot)uk expressing your concern at the proposed loss of mineralogy and petrology posts and stressing the importance of earth sciences (and mineralogy and petrology in particular) to the heritage of Wales and the future ‘green economy’?

You can find Ms Richardson’s LinkedIn profile here https://www.linkedin.com/in/jane-richardson-247aa354/?originalSubdomain=uk and some general background here https://www.artsindustry.co.uk/news/3123-museum-wales-replace-director-general-with-ceo

Please also copy your email to the government minister responsible for Amgueddfa Cymru / National Museum Wales, Dawn Bowden, Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism (email: Correspondence(dot)Dawn(dot)Bowden(at)gov(dot)wales )

Clearly ‘times are hard’ and difficult choices are going to have to be made, but to leave one of the UK’s most important mineral collections as an ‘orphan collection’ and the National Museum Cardiff with no mineralogical expertise is a strategic decision that is difficult to understand.

Thanks very much for your support

Phil Taylor
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