Eduardo Diaz

Statement from the Director on Smithsonian’s Donation to Puerto Rico

October, 2017

When a tragedy like Maria strikes, the importance of supporting our fellow citizens becomes all too clear. It is not only our responsibility, but our privilege to care for our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico, as they weather out this storm’s aftermath. As part of the Smithsonian, we also recognize the importance of preserving history and culture, as those objects and artworks become the legacy we leave for future generations to know us, and in doing so, know themselves.

We are fortunate to have had the resources to contribute $15,000 to the relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Alongside the National Museum of the American Indian, National Museum of American History, National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Provost’s Office the Smithsonian contributed a combined $75,000 to the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. The museum was able to use these funds to purchase the diesel they needed to keep their generators running, preserving priceless artworks and important cultural artifacts, as well as providing temporary storage space to other museums in need.

Our hearts remain with those still suffering and while we know the recovery process with be long, and challenging, we also know that the spirit of the Puerto Rican people will prevail and grow stronger with the bonds we have forged. It is our actions during difficult times that define us as a nation, shape our character as Americans, and remind us of our shared humanity and duty to each other. We remain committed, loyal friends to our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico, and are rooting for you to rebuild stronger than ever. !Adelante!

Con Esperanza,

Eduardo Díaz, Director

October 2017
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