Executive director of Tenn. State Museum rejects ouster call

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The longtime executive director of the Tennessee State Museum is rejecting calls for her to be replaced as the state plans for a new $160 million facility in Nashville.

Lois Riggins-Ezell in an interview with the Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1E33JUt ) cited her role in growing the museum from six staffers working in a basement in 1981 to its current 42 employees and an annual budget of $3.8 million, not counting private donations.

In Riggins-Ezell’s words: “I am the museum.”

Former Ambassador Victor Ashe, a member and former chairman of the board overseeing museum operations, said a new director should brought on oversee the planning and construction of the new museum. Ashe says Riggins-Ezell has shown a bias toward Nashville-area art purchases over works produced in other parts of the state.