With the impending dissolution of the Newcastle Maritime Museum Society (NMMS), council has offered a tough stop-gap proposal.
City of Newcastle will purchase items from the NMMS, which will use the money to pay creditors. Those items will go on display at Newcastle Museum in a permanent maritime exhibit.
A working party could then be established to find a waterfront site, as was always the NMMS’s position in previous negotiations. Council said it would participate in the working party but would neither chair it or fund it.
The city will “reasonably consider a request” for purchased items to be sold back to the NMMS for $1 on condition that:
- A suitable site is leased for 25 years or more;
- NMMS finds enough money to construct and operate a maritime museum for at least 10 years;
- A separate lease also be secured for 5 years of storage for the collection.
Council repeated in a statement today (15 September 2020) that it wants the collection to remain locally owned. Their announcement appears to confirm their intentions.
The statement concluded:
The demise of the Newcastle Maritime Museum is a reminder of the costly nature of operating, curating, and maintaining a museum, and why City of Newcastle’s position remains that the best way of ensuring local maritime items are available to the public, is via Newcastle Museum.