Original Publication Date: 13 August 2015
The Park Museum and the Institute for the Study of Mammalian Life (ISML) have ended their long battle over the establishment of a permanent home for one of The Park’s most iconic literary works.[pullquote]The citizens of The Park deserve to be able to visit the work in the building that was constructed to house our history.—Sakura Rhinoceros, member of the Board of Governors, The Park Museum[/pullquote]
The AutoZOËography of ZoëCat has been housed in a protected display in the lobby of the ISML since it was recovered in 2013 by workers excavating at the site of what is now The Park Museum. It had previously been displayed at the front of the Ancient, Open-Air Theatre, until a storm toppled the display and it went missing.
Because the excavators brought their precious find to the Institute for verification, the ISML decided to keep the beloved Park tome and to display it in the Institute’s lobby. Early last year, however, as The Park Museum neared completion, its Board of Governors initiated a series of meetings with the ISML aimed at convincing them that the museum was the only logical place to house the AutoZOËography on a permanent basis.
“Every one of the 6,975 pages of her book is a part of Park history and the citizens of The Park deserve to be able to visit the work in the building that was constructed to house our history,” Sukuta Rhinoceros, one of the founders of the Museum and a member of its Board, said at the time.
The ISML held fast to its view that it had the sole right to display the work until last week, when the two institutions came to a “joint custody” agreement.
“We are happy to report that both The Park Museum and the Institute for the Study of Mammalian Life have agreed to act as joint official custodians of The AutoZOËography of ZoëCat, one of the most important works in Park history,” said a press release issued today by both institutions.
The agreement, which will be signed next week, names The Park Museum as the book’s official home, but allows it to be moved to the ISML for one month every Winter for the purpose of display and study. Throughout the other eleven months, the ISML will display a facsimile in the space that it built for the book two years ago.
According to sources close to both institutions, the agreement was hammered out late Sunday night, with the assistance of the Park Historical Society and members of a number of faculties and departments at the University of West Terrier.
“All parties are pleased with this agreement and we plan to move forward with the logistics as soon as possible,” the press release says.
The Park Museum’s press release may be read here.