Smithsonian museums, National Gallery close amid government shutdown

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The National Gallery of Art closed Thursday after it ran out of funding during a partial government shutdown.

A series of the District’s most popular tourist attractions shuttered this week as an almost two-weeklong government shutdown continues.

The nearly 20 Smithsonian museums located in the District – including the National Zoo – closed Wednesday, while the National Gallery of Art locked its doors Thursday. Funding for the public attractions dried up after the holiday season, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The Smithsonian Institution receives most of its funding from the government, though it does receive some private donations.

Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas told WAMU Monday that two-thirds of Smithsonian employees are federal workers.

“Our federal employees are no different than other federal employees,” she said. “Technically, they’re furloughed, and then Congress decides whether they’ll be paid back.”

Several D.C. sites, including the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site and the DEA Museum, closed late last month at the start of the government shutdown, The Post reported.

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