Spy Museum eyes new space at Carnegie Library in Washington, D.C.

The International Spy Museum could soon be on the move. The popular Washington, D.C., attraction is looking to set up shop in the nearby historic Carnegie Library.

Museum officials and the city's convention center authority will propose a redevelopment featuring a 40,000-square-foot underground exhibit space, a new pavilion for the District of Columbia visitors center, as well as a cafe and museum store, the Associated Press reports.

While officials didn't list a price tag for the multi-million-dollar project, museum founder Milton Maltz said he would foot most of the bill.

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Spy Museum executive director and former CIA agent Peter Earnest told the Associated Press the institution, which pulls in as many as 700,000 visitors a year, is seeking a larger space for temporary and rotating exhibits.

"That's actually one of the reasons people go back to museums because there's an exhibit for usually a limited period of time for something interesting," he told the AP.

The museum, which opened in 2002, hosts the largest public display of international espionage artifacts, including spy gear and stories from the CIA.

Unlike the neighboring Smithsonian Institution museums, the Spy museum charges $19.95 for admission. (The Smithsonian museums are free.)

Officials have twice failed converting the former library into a museum: In 2003, lack of funds forced the $20-million City Museum to close two years after opening. And plans for a National Music Center at the site were scrapped in 2008.


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