In Symposium, Museum Experts Debate Smithsonian Institution’s Response to Critics

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WASHINGTON (AP).- Museum experts are weighing in on a censorship controversy at the Smithsonian Institution and what it means for publicly funded museums at a time when arts funding has been targeted for deep budget cuts. At a symposium Tuesday night and Wednesday, the Smithsonian hosted many curators who objected to the world’s largest museum complex bowing to political pressure last fall and removing a video from the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibit “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture.” It was the first major exhibit to explore gay themes in art history. About a month after it opened, and shortly after the 2010 election drew Republicans into power in Congress, the exhibit drew complaints from conservative groups over a video that