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WILMINGTON, NC (AP) – Curators at the Cape Fear Museum are
seeking permission to destroy dozens of deteriorating photo
negatives made from a material that can burst into flames or give
off toxic gases as they decay.

One local media outlet reported that officials at the county-owned
museum want to dispose of the negatives after they make digital
copies that can be stored safely. The request is on the agenda
for Monday’s meeting of the New Hanover County commissioners.

The 76 photo negatives were donated in 1998 to the museum, which
stores them in a refrigerator. They were found in a box of old
books from an estate sale and date to about 1910.

Museum curator Barbara Rowe says nitrate film is extremely
flammable with a flashpoint of just 120 degrees.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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