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Smithsonian board member: The shutdown is spoiling 'one of the coolest things in the world'

Heidi Chung

Now in its 34th day, the partial U.S. government shutdown is the longest shutdown in history. Roger Crandall, CEO of MassMutual and board member of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., said that the shutdown is starting to cost the museum millions of dollars.

“Quarterly the economic impact of the shutdown is beginning to be real,” Crandall told Yahoo Finance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday. “We're losing a million a day in revenue, and more importantly, people can't see our amazing museums. It is one of the coolest things in the world that all of those museums are free for anybody … So let’s get the museums open.”

Facade of Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Castle, Washington DC, USA

Because many of the attractions in America’s capital city are free to the public, many wouldn’t assume that museums like the Smithsonian would be taking such a hit.

However, according to Crandall, “People come in, and they shop in the stores. They buy model airplanes at the Air & Space Museum, and again you don’t think about it but that’s all part of how we fund the Smithsonian. We’re not [getting] any revenue from charging people for coming in, and those revenues from our other activities are part of it.”

Crandall is hopeful that the shutdown will end soon. “There’s a Smithsonian board meeting coming up next week, and we won’t be meeting in the Smithsonian. We’ll be meeting in a hotel, so we continue to take our obligations seriously.”

For more of Yahoo Finance’s complete coverage of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerlandclick here.

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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