Next Time You Donate To A Museum...

Tony Hawk
Tony Hawk

On Friday, we wrote about Tony Hawk tweeting that he was being asked to pay for items he donated to a museum that "went bankrupt."

We surmised it was the Sports Museum of America, which filed for bankruptcy in March. Hawk's sister Pat, who is the chief operating officer of his business, confirmed to us that it was the Sports Museum of America and that the story was true.

"He had loaned them a few irreplaceable items and we were told it would cost money just to open a claim to request returning them back," Pat Hawk told us, in an e-mail. "I can only imagine what it must be like for all the athletes who loaned so much more. Sad indeed."

Hawk had lent a couple items to the museum, including a skateboarding trophy he won when he was 11.

Looking for more, one of our readers sent us a note that went to people who had given their items to the museum. Now we understand what Hawk was talking about:

"The Bankruptcy Trustee firm has filed a motion with the bankruptcy court contending that:

(1) Lenders of all artifacts will have to file an application for the return of their items and pay a processing fee, in addition to shipping costs, in order to have their artifacts returned to them – otherwise the artifact may be sold at auction. The processing fees would be assessed as follows:

· $250.00 for one piece

· $500.00 for two pieces

· $750.00 for three to five pieces

· $1,500.00 for five to twenty pieces;

· $2,500.00 for more than twenty pieces, plus $750.00 for every ten pieces in excess of twenty pieces

(2) Lenders of artifacts may not be able to recover their artifacts at all (and the artifacts may be sold at auction) if the trustee rejects the application. This raises the concern that if you have lost your loan documents, or if the agreements to lend artifacts to the Museum were handled by email or orally (and not by written loan agreement), the trustees would use that as a basis to “reject” a claim and sell all of your items.

Questions? Comments?