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The Darwin exhibition frightening off corporate sponsors
Date: Monday, November 21 2005
Topic:


The Darwin exhibition frightening off corporate sponsors

By Nicholas Wapshott in New York
(Filed: 20/11/2005)

An exhibition celebrating the life of Charles Darwin has failed to find a corporate sponsor because American companies are anxious not to take sides in the heated debate between scientists and fundamentalist Christians over the theory of evolution.

The entire $3 million (1.7 million) cost of Darwin, which opened at the American Museum of Natural History in New York yesterday, is instead being borne by wealthy individuals and private charitable donations.


The failure of American companies to back what until recently would have been considered a mainstream educational exhibition reflects the growing influence of fundamentalist Christians, who are among President George W Bush's most vocal supporters, over all walks of life in the United States.

While the Darwin exhibition has been unable to find a business backer - unlike previous exhibitions at the museum - the Creationist Museum near Cincinatti, Ohio, which takes literally the Bible's account of creation, has recently raised $7 million in donations.

The outbreak of corporate cold feet has shocked New York's intellectuals. "It is a disgrace that large companies should shy away from such an important scientific exhibition," said a trustee of another prominent museum in the city, who was told of the exhibition's funding problem by a trustee of the AMNH.

"They tried to find corporate sponsors, but everyone backed off."

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