Some Utah Museums Worried About Artifact Sell-off

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(Undated-AP) -- Curators at some Utah museums are worried about what might happen if state budget troubles continue -- and the financial strategy of a northern Arizona museum catches on.

The Museum of Northern Arizona last year sold some rare Navajo textiles and sand paintings for one (M)million dollars to a private collector. They did it to cover a shortfall in the budget.

Pam Miller is curator at the Prehistoric Museum at the College of Eastern Utah in Price. She's concerned that this state could try to make ends meet by selling off artifacts from the state's museum collections.

Duncan Metcalfe runs the Utah Museum of Natural History. He says it would hurt the museums' ability to attract donations -- if donors know their gifts might be sold off.

But most museums in Utah are financially secure, and can raise money from private donors. That's according to Dan Burke, director of the state's Office of Museum Services.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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