Fini: Museum on Emmet to close

The Charlottesville branch of the Virginia Museum of Natural History fought the good fight.

Ever since its funding was slashed by the state in 2002, the little museum has struggled to scrape up the relatively paltry $80,000 a year it needs to pay its devoted staff of eight part-timers. But finally the parent museum in Martinsville– where a new 90,000-square-foot building is under construction– pulled the plug.

"The decision to close the branch was a difficult one," says executive director Tim Gette in a press release. Back in June, the branch sounded the alarm that it didn't have funding past September 30. The museum closes December 31, but last-time visitors shouldn't wait, because exhibits will have to come down before then.

The Virginia Museum of Natural History had community support– but no fund-raising arm to see it through times of slashed state budgets.