Smithsonian Museums, National Zoo to reopen as stopgap bill ends U.S. gov't shutdown

Smithsonian Museums and the National Zoo will reopen Tuesday in light of "a continuing resolution to fund the government," the U.S.-based Smithsonian Institution has said.

In a tweet posted Friday afternoon after President Donald Trump's announcement to fund the government for three weeks, the Smithsonian said museums and the zoo will reopen Tuesday "at their regularly scheduled times."

Trump on Friday night signed a bill to fund the government through February 15, leaving more time for the White House and Democrats to negotiate over border security, the impasse over which led to the record 35-day government shutdown.

A visitor at the Smithsonian Institution /VCG Photo

A visitor at the Smithsonian Institution /VCG Photo

The reopening came as exciting news for the public. "Sooo happy!" Karie Kirkpatrick wrote in reply to a tweet by the National Zoo announcing the reopening. "Great news! We missed those furry critters (and scary and feathered ones too)," Panda Lover tweeted.

All Smithsonian Museums, 17 in the Washington D.C. and two in New York, along with the National Zoo in the capital, have been closed since January 2 after prior-year funds ran out. The zoo's beloved live panda cam has also been turned off, causing discontent and anger.

The closure of restaurants, shops, IMAX theaters and other operations is costing the Smithsonian approximately one million U.S. dollars in revenue each week, David J. Skorton, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, said earlier this week in an opinion piece on USA Today. "These losses are not recoverable."

The Smithsonian Institution, founded in 1846, is a world-famous museum, education, and research complex. The system boasts the African American Museum, the National Air and Space Museum, the Archives of American Art and the National Portrait Gallery, among others.

(Cover: The Smithsonian Museum /VCG Photo)

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency