The museum in the Marshall Islands is struggling after parliament cut its budget by up to 25 percent last year.
Our correspondent in Majuro says as a result, the museum is struggling to pay salaries, the power company, phone company and the retirement agency, and shut its doors temporarily last week.
Giff Johnson says there is growing uncertainty about the museum's long term future and ability to preserve important cultural artefacts.
"It's a big question mark and the museum has had a troubled recent history over the last maybe six to eight years. It's gone through periods where it hasn't had funding, has had its power cut off, and of course the humidity and the salt air damage things in the museum, and this is an ongoing serious problem."
But the chair of the museum's board, Wallace Peter, says he is confident funds will be found to cover the shortfalls before the end of March.