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March 29, 2013

Debt-Strapped Field Museum Again Seeks to Shed Curators

For the third time in five years, Chicago's Field Museum is offering early retirement to curators in hopes of reducing its budget and debt burden, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The natural-history museum sent the offer last week to 16 of its 27 curators, who have until May 10 to decide on the buyout. The Field, which attracts more than a million visitors a year and is among the country's top research museums, has already trimmed its curatorial staff from 37 since 2000.

A museum spokeswoman said the Field hopes the buyout will save $1-million. The institution, which has seen its revenue flatten as it copes with debt stemming from a 10-year capital-improvement program, has already cut $2-million from its science division and is aiming for total reductions of $5-million, or 8 percent its budget.