Smithsonian, National Zoo to close due to government shutdown

The Smithsonian on Wednesday announced that its museums, as well as the National Zoo, were closing due to the government shutdown.

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The institution sent a tweet on the status and said that updates will be provided when "the situation is resolved."

"Due to the #GovernmentShutdown, Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are closed," the Smithsonian Institution said on its official Twitter account. "We will update our operating status as soon as the situation is resolved. We do not plan to update social media other than to inform you of our operating status."

 

The announcement came as a partial government shutdown that began on Dec. 22 moved into its second week. The shutdown was triggered by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments MORE's request for a new funding bill to include $5 billion for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Democrats have opposed the request and have offered $1.3 billion for border security. 

The closure of Smithsonian museums was expected. The institution announced last week that it would shutter its 19 museums, galleries, research centers and the zoo if the shutdown continued past Jan. 1. 

The Smithsonian had been using funds from prior years to remain open through Jan. 1. The Washington Post noted that the National Gallery of Art used “unexpired two-year and no-year appropriations” to do the same. 

The National Gallery of Art is expected to close Thursday, according to the newspaper. 

Smithsonian-sponsored events that are taking place at nonmuseum sites will go on as planned, the Post noted. The newspaper also added that renovation on galleries at the National Air and Space Museum will continue. 

The Smithsonian noted on Twitter that "essential personnel" would be "on hand to care for the animals at the National Zoo" while it is closed. 

There were about 30 million visits to the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo in 2017, according to the institution.