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Kansas City Council Weighs Split Between Museum And Union Station

The Kansas City council is looking at a proposal for the city to take control of the Kansas City Museum and its collection. The move would cut the strained ties between the museum and Union Station, which has managed the museum since 2000.

Under the proposal, the city’s parks and recreation department would manage the Kansas City Museum at Corinthian Hall. The city would be allowed to show the museum’s collection at Corinthian Hall, and both Union Station and the city could exhibit the collection elsewhere under the Kansas City Museum brand. The collection includes Native American objects and items relating to region's history and everyday life.

However, the agreement does not clarify ownership of the museum’s collection. Most of the collection was transferred to Union Station when it merged with the Kansas City Museum and which organization owns what has been a contentious issue in recent months.

Under the proposed agreement, the city would retain all funds from a museum property tax, an estimated $1.4 million a year. The city would lease storage space at Union Station for $131,000 per year for the Kansas City Museum’s collection of artifacts.

The Kansas City Star reports the Kansas City Museum Advisory Board members feel the new arrangement would better allow the museum to raise money to help complete the renovations at Corinthian Hall. The city has already put $10 million into the project but as much as $20 million more is needed to complete the restoration.

If the Kansas City council approves the agreement, it would go into effect May 1.

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