WASHINGTON (AP) - The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum is announcing a $6 million gift from Airbus Americas Inc. to help build the second phase of its annex in northern Virginia.
On Tuesday, officials said the gift from the European aircraft maker is the largest corporate gift to the Smithsonian Institution in 2008. In return, the museum will rename one of its theaters the Airbus IMAX Theater.
Museum director Jack Dailey says the gift is especially generous, considering the current economic downturn.
The second phase of construction at the museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia will be dedicated to aircraft and spacecraft restoration. Visitors will be able to look at the intricate preservation work that usually takes place behind the scenes.
The Smithsonian Board of Regents approved the gift last month.