Archives of Rudolph W. Giuliani


Mayor's WINS Address
Sunday, March 7, 1999

Hear the Mayor's Message

Celebrating New York City's Cultural Treasures
by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani

This week, it was my pleasure to attend a milestone in the construction of a major new addition to one of New York City's greatest museums, the Frederick Phineas and Sandra Priest Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History.

When it opens early in the year 2000, the Rose Center will be a world-class institution with state-of-the-art facilities… innovative exhibits… and a deep connection to the people, and especially the children, of the City. Its addition to the City's cultural landscape is another reminder of how critically important museums are to the life of our City. They bring tremendous social, cultural, and economic rewards. And so it shouldn't be surprising that as the City has surged ahead over the last five years, so have our cultural institutions.

From fiscal year 1993 to fiscal year 1998, attendance at cultural institutions increased by 25.8 percent... from 14.8 million to 18.6 million. This growing appreciation for our museums contributed to last year's record-setting year in tourism. In 1998, 34 million tourists visited the City, generating $14.3 billion in visitor spending. Many of those tourists are attracted to New York for the same reason many New Yorkers are: because of the our rich heritage and unparalleled cultural resources.

That value cannot be measured in statistics. Every single museum enriches, ennobles, and broadens our minds and the minds of our children. In New York City today, just by taking a short, inexpensive trip to a museum, families can learn an endless amount about ancient and modern art, Native American history and culture, the creative process behind film and television, or Jewish heritage and the history of the Holocaust. You can learn about graphic art and design, explore the history of the City of New York -- including the history of our transit system, fire department, and police department -- and, of course, discover countless things you never knew about science.

Who knows how many future physicists will have their first encounter with the laws of physics at the new Rose Center for Earth and Space? It's exciting just to think about it. Our knowledge of the world has advanced tremendously over the centuries -- and particularly over the last 100 years. But as our base of knowledge has grown, so has the number of questions that we ask. That's a wonderful thing. Museums both put our knowledge on display and harness this ever-growing curiosity.

Albert Einstein said, "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity."

I think those are inspirational words for all who plan to visit the Rose Center or any other New York City cultural institution. From Gracie Mansion, this is Mayor Rudy Giuliani.


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