KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A plan to move Kansas City’s Arabia Steamboat Museum across the state of Missouri falls apart, leaving the collection’s future uncertain.
The sticking point turned out to be the way the city planned to finance the new building, according to the museum’s founder.
“Their plan was to build a smaller museum building and then sell much of the Arabia Collection to offset the cost of construction and reduce the need for display space. We are not interested in splitting up this amazing and historic collection of artifacts,” Hawley told FOX4.
Hawley signed a letter of intent with the city of St. Charles earlier this year. It inked a deal to explore options to create a new building to house the Arabia Steamboat Museum.
Hawley announced in 2019 that the popular tourist attraction would leave Kansas City when its lease expires in 2026.
Hawley teamed up with his brother and father to unearth the 1856 Arabia shipwreck from a cornfield in Wyandotte County in 1988.
The project yielded a treasure trove of artifacts from the 19th century.
The museum has been in Kansas City’s City Market for more than 20 years.
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Hawley said he plans to continue to search for a larger and more permanent home for the collection.