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8:54 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Oklahoma Lawmakers Consider Next Move for Museum

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A plan to erect a Smithsonian-quality museum to showcase Oklahoma's Native American heritage has proved to be a thorn in the state's side.

Officials announced Thursday that construction on the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in Oklahoma City will be suspended because the project has run out of money.

The Legislature has spent more than $63 million on the project and private donations and other funding pushed the cost to $91 million. Museum officials need an additional $80 million to finish the center.

They're seeking $40 million from the state to match private donations, but many lawmakers oppose more spending.

State Senator Cliff Aldridge says he'll push for legislation to transfer the project's ownership to Oklahoma City, but says a bond issue to cover the $40 million may be revisited.

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