On September 19, an extra-alarm fire destroyed the majority of the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago. The building suffered incredible smoke and fire damage, while several artifacts—including heirlooms donated by local families—were spoiled or ruined.
Fortunately, curators from both the Field Museum and the Chicago History Museum are helping in any way they can. "They helped us triage the items we could save, lay them out to dry and assess the damage. They're the experts, and they really know what they're doing," Grace Chun told Martina Sheehan of Time-Out Chicago. The slow but steady salvage process began over this past weekend. However, the origin of the blaze has yet to be determined.
The fire wasn't just a tragedy for Chicago's Chinese community, but for all of us who appreciate art and culture. It will take an incredible amount of time, effort, and (most importantly) resources to rebuild the entire museum. For information on how to contribute a donation and to see incredible photos of the fire, visit the CAM's web site at http://www.ccamuseum.org/.