Thousands of visitors are in Washington DC for cherry blossom festivities, but come Saturday they may find many attractions in the nation’s capital closed. That includes the museums that make up the Smithsonian including the Smithsonian Museum of American Art. Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas told the Washington Post that museums could lose millions of visitors. Some 23,000 advance tickets for IMAX theater shows have already been sold and thousands of others show up each day to watch films, purchase meals, and buy souvenirs from museum gift shops.
In Charleston, S.C., the budget battle is threatening next week’s 150th anniversary of the firing on Fort Sumter, which marked the first battle of the Civil War.
A shutdown could help out other museums as it did when a similar event occurred in the 1990s. Private museums such as The Corcoran and the Phillips Collection would remain open.