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Audit finds 800 items missing from Canadian history museum, no plan to deal with it

OTTAWA — An investigation by Canada’s auditor general found the Canadian Museum of History’s conservation system is putting its collections at risk.

The federal Crown corporation manages collections for the Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian War Museum, and is charged with the care of more than four million objects and historical and cultural artifacts.

The audit found the corporation did such a poor job keeping tabs on those objects that more than 800 were declared missing during inventory inspections between 2012 and 2022.

More than 300 items weren’t stored properly, and 15,000 lacked information about where the item came from. 

The auditor says the museum had no plan to deal with issues.

The audit also revealed the museum did not regularly review staff’s electronic access to secure locations where collections are stored, even though safeguarding historical artifacts is central to the corporation’s mandate.  

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 10, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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