CHAPTER 19-A. WASHINGTON MUSEUM AND
§881. Washington Museum and Tourist Commission
A. The Washington Museum and Tourist Commission, hereinafter referred to as "the commission", is hereby created and shall be domiciled in the municipality of Washington, in the parish of St. Landry.
B. The commission shall be composed of nine members, who shall be appointed by the mayor of the town of Washington, to serve for one year terms. Any commissioner so appointed may be reappointed to serve for additional one year terms. The members of the commission shall serve without compensation. It shall hold regular meetings, prescribe rules for its operation, elect such officers as are necessary, and establish and use any identifying seals pertaining to its business. For the purposes of transacting business, five members of the board shall constitute a quorum. The commission shall oversee the Washington Museum and Tourist Center. The museum shall be open to the public as may be prescribed by the commission.
C. The commission shall maintain the museum and all exhibits and displays contained in the museum, develop and foster tourism in the town of Washington, develop and foster an interest in historic preservation, and all other items which are necessary for the conservation, preservation, and restoration of the historic and cultural resources in the town of Washington.
D. The commission may solicit and accept funds, governmental grants, donations, and contributions of lands, buildings, money, relics, works of art, or other property on behalf of and as additions to the museum either in form of loans or in the form of donations inter vivos or mortis causa, or may acquire them by purchase, lease, or otherwise, subject to the terms, conditions, or limitations contained in the instrument by which such property is acquired. However, the commission shall be empowered and authorized to enter into any and all contracts with any person, lender, or donor that it may deem fit, proper, and necessary to accept and receive such lands, buildings, money, relics, works of art, or other property on behalf of and as additions to the museum. The commission is specifically authorized to serve as beneficiary of any public trust heretofore or hereafter created for such purpose pursuant to law.
E.(1) Any property which has been deposited with the commission or the museum, by loan or otherwise, and which has been held for more than ten years, and to which no person has made claim shall be deemed to be abandoned and, notwithstanding the provisions of Chapter 1 of Title XII of Book III of the Louisiana Civil Code, shall become the property of the commission, provided that the commission has complied with the following provisions:
(2) At least once a week for two consecutive weeks, the commission shall publish in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the town of Washington and the parish of St. Landry a notice and listing of the property. The notice shall contain:
(a) The name and last known address, if any, of the last known owner or depositor of the property;
(b) A description of the property; and
(c) A statement that if proof of claim is not presented by the owner to the commission and if the owner's right to receive such property is not established to the satisfaction of the commission within sixty-five days from the date of the second published notice, the property will be considered abandoned and shall become the property of the commission.
(3) If no valid claim has been made to the property within sixty-five days from the date of the second published notice, title to the property shall vest in the commission free from all claims of the owner and all persons claiming through or under him.
F. The collections of the museum may be lent in part subject to approval by the commission. The commission shall insure proper safeguards for their maintenance and return and shall insure that proper records are kept. The collections shall be available for the use of educational projects, subject to the approval of the commission.
G.(1) The commission is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes, including the making of distributions to organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, or the corresponding provision of any future United States internal revenue law.
(2) No part of the net earnings or revenue of the commission shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the commission shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in this Section. No substantial part of the activities of the commission shall be for the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the commission shall not participate in, or intervene in, including the publishing or distribution of statements, any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Section, the commission shall not carry on any activities not permitted to be carried on:
(a) By a corporation exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, or the corresponding provision of any future United States internal revenue law; or
(b) By a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, or the corresponding provision of any future United States internal revenue law.
H. Upon dissolution of the commission, the commission shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all of the liabilities of the commission, dispose of all of the assets belonging to the commission exclusively for the purposes of the commission in such manner, or to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, religious, or scientific purposes as shall at the time be qualified as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, or the corresponding provision of any future United States internal revenue law. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed by the district court for the parish of St. Landry, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations as the court shall determine, which are organized and operated for exclusively those purposes.
Acts 1990, No. 838, §1.