A group of Congress members want to build a new museum on the National Mall dedicated to telling the story og the Latino community and their contributions to the country.
Bipartisan legislation introduced in both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate calls for the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries building on the National Mall to be re-designated as the location of the proposed Smithsonian American Latino Museum. The museum would be built with private funds, The Washington Times reported.
“Authorizing the use of federal land on the National Mall is an important step in laying the ground work to establish the American Latino Museum,” U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said in a statement. “This will be an enduring monument as much to the people who have found opportunity and refuge in America as it is a tribute to our exceptional country that has always welcomed people and helped them realize their dreams like no other place in human history.”
Added Rubio: “At a time when our nation faces major economic and fiscal challenges, I am pleased that this effort will not rely on taxpayer dollars and that this bill will encourage private fundraising efforts to make it a reality.”
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida, said “Hispanic-Americans have contributed immensely to the social, political, and cultural fabric of this great nation.”
“As the world’s largest museum and research complex, the Smithsonian is a testament to the power of the human mind and spirit,” Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement. “By celebrating the past successes of the Latino community, this museum will empower the next generation of Hispanic-Americans to continue a legacy of excellence for generations to come.”
U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-California, are also co-sponsors of the legislation.
The National Mall is home to a number of famous monuments and memorials, including the Lincoln Memorial the Jefferson Memorial and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.