Trenton Is Unsafe Home...for Vase Brooklyn Museum Says

Trenton museum had to return rare pottery after Brooklyn museum deems it unfit to care for it.

By Teresa Masterson
|  Wednesday, Feb 1, 2012  |  Updated 9:07 AM EDT
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Trenton Unsafe Home...for Vase: NY Museum

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Visitors tour the new front glass entrance and pavilion of the Brooklyn Museum of Art following the ribbon cutting ceremony April 16, 2004 in New York City.

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The Trenton City Museum has returned a rare ceramic vase it had borrowed from the Brooklyn Museum after the New York institution said Trenton wasn't a safe place for it.

The director of the Trenton museum was laid off in September as the city cut costs amid a financial crunch, reports the Times of Trenton. Trenton officials put an intern in charge of the little-known museum.

The vase was one of four produced by Trenton Potteries Co. for the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. The Brooklyn Museum loaned it to Trenton more than a year ago.

But the exchange deal between the two museums was hinged on the agreement that the city of Trenton pay the cost of a full-time director, and with the director laid off the city of Trnton did not keep up its end of the deal, reports the Times.

The vase was returned on Tuesday.

At the time of the initial exchange, the director of the Trenton museum was trying to exhibit the vase and three others together for the first time since 1904. The plan has since been shelved.

"This seals the fate of our attempts to get the four vases back together again," Trenton Museum society President Robert Cunningham told the Times of Trenton. "It's something that was very important to us and should be to the city. I don't think that the Brooklyn Museum has any plans to exhibit it or not. It could just go into storage."

City officials asked the museum society to pick up the cost of paying a full-time director. Cunningham tells the Times that the group just doesn't have that kind of money.
 

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