Selling off the Von Armin car, on the face of it, to fund events etc. may look like a good idea. However, it is never likely to happen. The car is the centrepiece of our museum collection and selling it would be a bit like selling the family jewels. In museum speak, the selling off of museum pieces is called deaccessioning and is generally frowned upon.
Museums were established for the purpose of maintaining collections for the benefit of the public and it is felt that attempts to chip away at collections are tantamount to a surrender of their very reason for existence.
If we were to sell it, and personally I donít think it would ever happen, there are lots of issues that would need to be considered. For example, who owns the car? It was a spoil of war and therefore might be owned by the government but given to the museum to display. The car is under the control of the Royal Sussex regimental Museum which is a registered charity. The core requirement of charity law is that any board or trustees, acts in the best interests of the institution and of the public, which usually means keeping the collection intact.
I agree that we should maximise its ability as a money spinner, The car has certainly potential in that area.
Iím happy to take your views to the trustees if you want me to do.
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