McInnis amendment helps owners reclaim museum artifacts

By: Staff reports

RALEIGH — Richmond County’s state senator has added language to a House bill that will place photos of unclaimed historical artifacts on a state website so owners can arrange for their return.

Sen. Tom McInnis, R-Richmond, offered an amendment to House Bill 184, which changes the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources’ procedures for disposition of unclaimed property. The bill’s purpose is to establish ownership of certain items of personal property that have been loaned or donated to the N.C. Museum of History and other museums.

McInnis’ amendment will allow for notification of personal property items on a new History Museum website. This notification will include a photo of the item and any documents signed by all parties. The items will stay on the website for up to one year and will be linked to all N.C. Museum websites.

“This amendment will give notice to owners and their heirs regarding forgotten and loaned items at the N.C. Museum of History,” McInnis said in a Wednesday statement. “It allows heirs to make a claim on an item in question and to protect their rights of ownership.”

The amendment’s sponsor has a keen understanding of historical artifacts’ value. McInnis is senior vice president and chief operating officer of Richmond County-based Iron Horse Auction Co.

Anyone who knows of a family who loaned items to the museum and has not received the property back can call McInnis’ legislative office at 919-733-5953 or the N.C. Museum of History at 919-807-7872 for assistance.

HB 184 passed its third reading in the Senate on Tuesday and is expected to advance to Gov. Pat McCrory’s desk.


Staff reports