Museum of Chinese in America Brings Home Fire-Damaged Artifacts

Posted on: October 14th, 2020 at 5:03 am by

May 2020, Photo: Karlin Chan

Some heartening news to report from the Museum of Chinese in America. The archives are coming home.

After a devastating five-alarm fire destroyed the roof and upper floors of 70 Mulberry Street back in January, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services rescued roughly one hundred boxes of archival material from the museum’s research center. Recovery efforts continued despite the pandemic, and weren’t in vain: over 85,000 artifacts were recovered and returned to MOCA after nine months of rehab.

“MOCA has had a long journey to this day,” Nancy Yao Maasbach, Museum President, said in a statement. In the past nine months, MOCA has not missed a beat. In addition to extracting more than 85,000 items out of the fire-torn building, the team has worked ceaselessly to create a plan for full recovery.”

This all during the institution’s 40th anniversary celebration. Yet, despite the obstacles, they’ve received some financial encouragement. MOCA was recently awarded a $3 million grant from the Ford Foundation, along with other leading U.S. foundations and donors, and has been selected as one of 20 “America’s Cultural Treasures” for their role as significant national anchors for artistic and cultural diversity in America.

The museum is still closed to the public, but offers a variety of digital, web, social media, and outdoor offerings.

Photo: FDNY

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