The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Latino could soon open on the National Mall if the bill makes its way into law.
On Monday, July 27, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill in favor of creating a new Smithsonian museum celebrating Latinx culture in America. The new bill was introduced by Rep. José Serrano (D-NY), who has represented the Bronx in the House since 1990, and has attracted bipartisan support with 295 Republican and Democratic co-sponsors.
If passed into law, would then carry out an 18-month feasibility study and look for a new place on the National Mall. “I look forward to the day when we can walk through the doors of the Smithsonian’s newest museum and experience the full richness and diversity of Latino cultures and how they have helped to make America great,” Majority leader Steny Hoyer, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, told NPR.
In terms of location, a possible option would be repurposing the historic Arts and Industries Building which would require adding significant space underground or elsewhere. The project for the new museum would cost up to $700 million and would be funded by the federal government and several other private investors.
The National Museum of the American Latino would be the second museum celebrating America’s extensive cultural heritage to land on the National Mall after the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2016.
“Our American history and identity is also Latino history and identity,” Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), said in support of the bill. “Through this history, the United States exists.”
[Featured image: Vlad Tchompalov on Unsplash]