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  • January 30, 2018 3:04 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from The Art Newspaper

    The rising water level of the Seine has resulted in the Musée du Louvre closing the lower level of its department of Islamic Arts until Sunday (28 January) as a “preventive measure” from flood damage, according to a spokeswoman for the museum. “But there is no evacuation of the works at this stage,” she says. The spokesman says that opening hours remain unchanged. The temporarily closed area is 2,800 sq. m; the entire museum measures 73,000 sq. m. The ​department of ​Islamic Arts​ was inaugurated in 2012 and designed by the architects Rudy Ricciotti and Mario Bellini.

    The decision to implement the Plan de Protection Contre les Inondations (PPCI; protection plan against flooding) was taken yesterday after the Seine reached 5.12m above its normal level. The PPCI was set up in 2002 after the police headquarters informed the Louvre that works from its collection could be at risk from floods. The PPCI comprises a “risk prevention cell”, observing the daily level and fluctuations of the Seine by firefighters and the creation of files indexing works that would need to be moved to higher levels of the museum.

    Concern is so great that last month construction of a preservation site began in Liévin, northern France, that will shelter 152,000 works belonging to the Louvre that are currently housed in an area that is at risk of flooding. In June 2016, the Louvre closed for four days after the Seine's level rose to 6m in order to evacuate 35,000 works to a higher level.

    The Musée d'Orsay and the Musée de l'Orangerie have also launched their PPCI. The Orsay is closing at 6pm this evening, as opposed to at 9.45pm (Thursday is the museum's late evening) and a dance that was scheduled during the Dégas exhibition has been postponed until 8 February.

    UPDATE (25 January): The Petit Palais has begun moving 5,000 works from its reserves. "We started bringing them up yesterday morning as a preventative measure and they are installed on the ground floor of our permanent collection," says a museum spokeswoman. She adds that the majority of works, along with those of other museums belonging to the City of Paris, are kept in the suburbs. "The flood in June 2016 enabled us to be operational and very well organised very quickly," she says.

    See Original Post

  • January 30, 2018 1:46 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    The Donald Peterson Student Travel Award Subcommittee invites applications from archival science students and recent graduates of archival programs.  The award subsidizes travel to the SAA Annual Meeting for students presenting research or actively participating in an SAA-sponsored committee, section, or roundtable.

    Application details are below. The application deadline is February 28, 2018. Applications will only be accepted online.  If you have any questions regarding the award or the application process, please contact Veronica Denison, Donald Peterson Student Travel Award Committee Chair, at vdenison@alaska.edu.

    Purpose and Criteria for Selection

    Established in 2005, this award supports students and recent graduates from graduate archival programs within North America to attend SAA’s Annual Meeting. The goal of the scholarship is to stimulate greater participation in the activities of SAA by students and recent graduates. This participation must include either a presentation of research during the Annual Meeting or active participation in an SAA-sponsored committee, section, or roundtable.

    Eligibility

    Awarded to an SAA member in good standing who is currently enrolled in an archival education program or who graduated from an archival education program in the previous calendar year. Applications are evaluated based on the merits of the applicant’s essay and letters of recommendation.

    Sponsor and Funding

    The Society of American Archivists, in honor of Donald Peterson (1908-1999), New York lawyer and philatelist, whose deep appreciation of world history and preservation developed early through his stamp collecting and held true throughout his life.

    Prize

    Up to $1,000 in support of registration, travel, and accommodation expenses associated with the SAA Annual Meeting.

    First Awarded

    2006

    Application Information and Documentation

    Click here to preview the application and/or to apply. All applications must be submitted online and include the following:  

    1. A 500-word essay describing the applicant's career goals and potential impact on the archival profession.

    2. Unofficial transcript to verify student status or copy of graduate diploma.

    3. Two letters of recommendation from individuals having definite knowledge of the applicant's qualifications.

    Application Deadline

    February 28, 2018


  • January 30, 2018 1:40 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Newsweek

    In a new chapter of the ongoing saga of Hobby Lobby’s smuggling of Iraqi religious artifacts, the arts and crafts emporium surrendered 245 objects to the United States government, according to court documents.

    Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. voluntarily turned over the artifacts to federal prosecutors in New York on January 17, according to Long Island Business News. This brings the total number of artifacts surrendered so far to 3,839. Hobby Lobby had previously agreed to turn over 5,500.

    In July 2017, Hobby Lobby agreed to pay a $3 million fine for smuggling religious artifacts out of Iraq, including thousands of ancient cuneiform tablets deliberately mislabeled as tile samples, according to The New York Times.

    The store's evangelical Christian owners spent $1.6 million on the artifacts in December of 2010, even after a cultural property law expert that the business itself had retained warned that such artifacts might have been looted, and that without proper verification they could be seized by United States Customs and Border Protection. Nevertheless, according to a press statement from the United States Justice Department, Hobby Lobby persisted:

    The acquisition of the Artifacts was fraught with red flags. For example, Hobby Lobby received conflicting information where the Artifacts had been stored prior to the inspection in the UAE. Further, when the Artifacts were presented for inspection to Hobby Lobby’s president and consultant in July 2010, they were displayed informally. In addition, Hobby Lobby representatives had not met or communicated with the dealer who purportedly owned the Artifacts, nor did they pay him for the Artifacts. Rather, following instructions from another dealer, Hobby Lobby wired payment for the Artifacts to seven personal bank accounts held in the names of other individuals.

    The artifacts themselves include around 450 ancient cuneiform tablets and around 3,000 clay bullae, or inscribed seals, according to court documents from the 2017 civil complaint. Cuneiform is among the world's oldest known systems of writing, believed to have originated in ancient Mesopotamia. 

    A media relations representative for Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. issued the following statement to

    Newsweek

    :

    The 245 artifacts were part of the same transaction that was the subject of Hobby Lobby's settlement with the government in July 2017. At the time of the settlement, the artifacts could not be located. Hobby Lobby agreed that if they were located, the company would turn them over to the government. The artifacts were subsequently located and turned over.

    Hobby Lobby President Steve Green owns one of the largest collections of religious artifacts anywhere in the world, having been actively collecting various Middle Eastern antiquities since 2009, according to Long Island Business News. He was recently responsible for the unveiling of a Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. Some of the smuggled Iraqi artifacts would have been intended for that museum.

    The federal government became suspicious of Green's collection in 2011, when U.S. customs opened FedEx packages that had been declared as "'hand made [sic] clay tiles (sample)' manufactured in Turkey," according to the Justice Department.

    See Original Post

  • January 30, 2018 1:32 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Western Museums Association

    The Indian Arts Research Center (IARC) is a division of the School for Advanced Research (SAR) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The goal of IARC is to bridge the divide between creativity and scholarship by supporting initiatives and projects in Native American studies, art history, and creative expression that illuminate the intersections of the social sciences, humanities, and arts.

    The IARC recently released guidelines to ensure successful museum and community collaborations. There are two sets of guidelines: 1) Community + Museum Collaboration and 2) Museum + Community Collaboration.

    These guidelines were developed over a three-year period of collaboration between Native and non-Native museum professionals, cultural leaders and artists. The Community + Museum Collaboration guidelines are intended as a resource for community members who are working in collaboration with museums. The Museum + Community Collaboration guidelines are a resource for museums that are looking to collaborate with a source community. This is not a set of rules; instead, it offers ideas to consider when working with museums and source communities.

    This project began with the desire to set the record straight. Source communities can work with museums to correct and add to the museum record. According to Jim Enote, A:shiwi A:wan Museum & Heritage Center, “The idea of bringing source communities together with collections is the right thing to do. The idea of building collaborations between communities and museums and their collections was a new level of engagement. And this was part of the essence of building our guidelines for communities to work with collections.” This work is relevant for communities because they can learn more about their identity and heritage through museum collections.

    These guidelines were created with the belief that museums should be thinking about how to bring life to objects by allowing them to return or reenage with their source. The guidelines create a platform that offers museums and communities an opportunity to negotiate the best approach to achieve true collaboration.

    The Guidelines for Collaboration are an excellent resource for communities that want to work with museums and museums that want to work with communities. These resources provide an opportunity for true collaboration and two-way learning. 

    To learn more about this innovative project, download the guidelines, and view case studies visit the Guidelines for Collaboration website

    See Original Post

  • January 30, 2018 1:26 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from DMagazine

    The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts didn't think a police report was necessary when Irby Pace's work went missing. His Dallas gallerist disagrees.

    When Irby Pace found out his art was stolen from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, he was deflated. The hijacked stereo cards had been a challenge to craft. Pace liked the fresh way they allowed viewers engage with his work. Plus, his subjects — vibrantly colored smoke clouds — looked super dope in 3D.

    Now he’d have to start over.

    He posted the news to his private social media accounts: “Some of my art was stolen from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts [fuming emoji, red emoji]” and added a doctored screenshot from the The Thomas Crown Affair.

    As status updates go, it was simple and funny. Unless, of course, you’re the MMoFA. They weren’t thrilled with the shout-out. Due to the pieces’ scale and market price, they considered the whole thing a fender-bender of sorts — and they’d really rather nobody talk about it. To Curator of Art Jennifer Jankauskas, it didn’t merit a call to the cops.

    “It’s not like a Monet got stolen,” she said in an interview. “The necessity of a police report doesn’t seem to make sense.”

    Plus, Jankauskas told me, Pace’s work would not have been sellable after the exhibition, due to general wear and tear on the materials during the show’s run.

    What followed was a charged exchange, one that would deal with free speech, the value of art, and the power politics between institutions and the artists they showcase. It also spurred other questions: Is successful interactive art less valuable due to material degradation, or more valuable due to its high level of engagement?

    Pace’s gallerist, Ree Willaford of Galleri Urbane Marfa + Dallas, said that Pace wanted that human interaction, that DNA on the work. And besides: “Those could have been artist proofs,” she says from her Dallas showroom. “That’s not for us to decide. We all know Rauschenbergs don’t hold up well, but we’d all take one!”

    “And it was supposed to be kept safe anyway, in any institution,” she says. “Whether it’s a gallery or museum.”

     Irby was teaching a class at Troy University when he saw three missed calls. A week had passed since the theft and Pace had kind of found peace with the whole thing.

    “How mad can you be when somebody loved [the work] so much they risked whatever they could have risked to steal it?” he asked.

    Besides, now his stereo cards are in the canon of Art Stolen from Museums, which carries its own panache. And nobody can take that from him, right?

    He checked the missed calls and rang the museum back. They wanted to settle up, name a price and close the loop with the artist. The press had started sniffing around and they needed this thing resolved. Once a monetary agreement was reached, they had a few more demands.

    “They asked me not to make any social media postings, they asked me why I made any social media postings, and then they dictated that I need to go onto social media and explain that the thing has been resolved,” said Pace.

    In a follow-up email, he was asked to stop giving information to reporters and to try and kill the story.

    By the end of it, Pace felt censored, used and insulted.

    “I was told that my artwork, because of the nature of it and the size of it, isn’t as important as the Edward Hoppers or other permanent collection work that it would be associated with. And what would validate a proper comment or investigation of theft.” 

    Questions about logistics enter here, too. Does additional oversight need to be put into a space where the public directly handles the art? And if so, who decides that? And if work is damaged, broken or lost to theft, how do its custodians talk about that with the public —or can they sweep it under the rug and silence the artist?

    Surveying the museum landscape today, the public’s appetite for interactive artwork is only growing. As these institutions move away from Old Paintings on Walls, they’re being challenged to consider new rules and protocols. Meanwhile artists like Pace are left assuming more risk and murkier definitions of value. Should artists’ work leave a museum less valuable than when it entered it?

    Irby Pace moved his family to Montgomery, Alabama in 2014 to accept a teaching position at nearby Troy. They left behind a Dallas arts community wherein Pace’s work had been quickly noticed. For his 2012 MFA show he made national headlines by ripping abandoned pictures of strangers off Apple store devices, blowing them up and calling it art. He presciently captured the cultural moment just before “selfie” happened. He also got tangled up with Apple in a dispute over privacy rights, freedom of speech and appropriation in a time of rapidly evolving technology.

    The Dallas Observer awarded him “Best Art Heist” for the affair. That irony isn’t lost on Pace. “It’s kind of like a climatic response to that,” he said about the theft and laughed. “You can’t be THAT mad.”

    But again, that was before the museum’s phone call.

    Pace’s stolen pieces were stereo card images. Shot on a special camera with two lenses, set at different angles, his work was laser cut and hand assembled over five months. It is the only set that exists. To use it, visitors place the cards into an antique viewer from the early 1900s and observe a three-dimensional illusion of his photography. It’s a fun gimmick that was popular more than one hundred years ago — another era when escapism was all the rage.

    Their intimate size was part of what attracted Pace to the project. His big, blown up photographs were getting snatched up back at the gallery in Dallas and he’d have a few in this show as well. But he wanted to play with scale and guide viewers through his trippy environments in a more personal way. He chalked it up as a positive. The curators called the cards “minimal pieces” compared to the big guys on the wall and noted that they were replaceable.

    Willaford again isn’t so sure this logic shakes out. She starts telling a story about her friend who ran a Houston gallery back in the ‘70s, who “sold (Donald) Judds when nobody wanted them.” For one fair in Germany, her friend carried the whole show in her purse. Cy Twombly had painted an entire series on popsicle sticks. “How much are those worth today?” asks Willaford. “That day they weren’t that valuable.”

    While neither party is naming the settled payment price, both agree it’s enough to cover the material costs of creating a new set of slides. Pace may start a new series, but he won’t attempt to recreate the ones he’s lost.

    “I’ll probably let that series be stolen and move onto the next one.” he says. Besides, he’s already considering other ways to bring his work to life, like large-scale holograms that dominate a showroom. And that seems like a great idea, one that’s really tough to steal. 

    See Original Post

  • January 16, 2018 3:03 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from CNN

    In a plot worthy of a Hollywood heist film, thieves mingled with other visitors to an exhibition in Venice on Wednesday before brazenly making off with gems of "indisputably elevated value," the canal city's police chief said.

    The working theory being developed by investigating officers suggests that at least two people entered the Doge's Palace -- a popular tourist spot in Venice where a selection of Indian jewelry from the Qatari royal collection was on display to the public.

    One suspect acted as lookout while the other grabbed the jewels from a display case, police believe.

    Venice Police Chief Vito Danilo Gagliardi said that the stolen items were a pair of earrings and a brooch made of diamonds, gold and platinum. The pieces -- owned by Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani -- were snatched in the bold daytime robbery on the last day of the exhibit. 

    A preliminary investigation revealed that the pair were able to delay the alarm system for one minute so it wasn't triggered until the thieves were making their escape, Gagliardi said. He described the culprits as "skilled."

    "They were certainly well prepared and hit in a targeted way," Gagliardi said.

    The police chief suggested the jewels would be difficult to sell on because of their international recognition and might, therefore, be disassembled and sold separately.

    Gagliardi earlier told Reuters that the jewels had a customs value of 30,000 euros (around $31,000), but indicated that the actual worth is more likely "a few million euros."

    A Venice police spokesman told CNN that the stolen pieces were "of great value" but would not provide an exact estimate of their worth.

    The spokesman added that authorities arrived at the scene at 10:17 a.m. (3:17 a.m. ET) on Wednesday after being alerted by the head of security, who told them that "some jewels had gone missing."

    In a press release, the Doge's Palace confirmed the theft of "two objects" from the Al Thani Collection. The objects were described as "recently made and of marginal value compared to other jewels of greater historical value."

    "Thanks to the timely intervention of the security apparatus operating inside the exhibition halls, and whose definition was shared from the outset with the Venice Police Headquarters, the Civic Museums Foundation was able to provide all the law enforcement agencies the elements necessary for a rapid solution of the ongoing investigation," the statement continued.

    The exhibition displayed over 270 pieces of Indian Mughal jewelry from the 16th to the 20th century, according to the Doge's Palace website.

    The exhibition closed on schedule.

    See Original Post

  • January 16, 2018 2:56 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from The Boston Globe

    The newest staff member at the Museum of Fine Arts doesn’t have much of an eye for aesthetics, which makes him a bit of a peculiar addition to the renowned institution.

    He didn’t attend a fancy college where they teach students about art appraisals. And he won’t be able to differentiate a van Gogh from a Degas, or an oil on canvas from an ancient Egyptian bust.

    But he does have this: a keen sense of smell that could help officials at the museum keep its many exhibits, both new and old, from going to the dogs.

    Riley, a Weimaraner puppy, was recently acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts on a volunteer basis to detect insects and other pests that might be hiding on existing or incoming collections at the gallery.

    Seemingly harmless moths or bugs have the potential to damage certain types of artwork, like textiles, wood, or organic materials.

    And Riley will be tasked with sniffing them out — once he has been properly trained, of course.

    “We have lots of things that bring, by their very nature, bugs or pests with them,” said Katie Getchell, chief brand officer and deputy director of the Museum of Fine Arts. “If he can be trained to sit down in front of an object that he smells a bug in, that we can’t smell or see, then we could take that object, inspect it, and figure out what’s going on — that would be remarkable in terms of preserving objects.”

    The museum has existing protocols in place to handle any potential infestation issues before they arise, but bringing Riley into the fold will offer an added layer of protection, she said.

    “Pests are an ongoing concern for museums,” Getchell said. “It’s exciting to think about this as a new way to address the problem.”

    The arrival of the floppy-eared pup with the oversized paws and droopy eyes, marks a first-of-its-kind initiative for the museum. Getchell said she’s not aware of another institution using a dog for similar work. Riley’s assistance is being billed as a pilot project, as they get a sense of his effectiveness.

    While the idea of a puppy at the museum might give art lovers more incentive to visit, Riley will mostly work behind the scenes, meaning he won’t be spotted by those walking through the galleries on a daily basis.

    His scent training, which will take place with his owner, the museum’s head of Protective Services, will begin in the next few months.

    “If it is something that works, it’s something that other museums, or other libraries, or other places that collect materials that are susceptible to any kind of any infestation like that could use as another line of defense,” Getchell said. “That would be an amazing outcome.”

    The American Kennel Club describes the breed’s demeanor and personality traits as “fearless, friendly, and obedient,” and notes that Weimaraners — males can weigh anywhere between 70 to 90 pounds when full grown — are always “eager to please.”

    “The Weimaraner is a graceful dog with aristocratic features,” the website says. “Bred for speed, good scenting ability, courage and intelligence, he remains an excellent game hunter and active participant in other dog sports.”

    Sue Thomas, who owns Rhode Island-based Camelot Weimaraner and has been breeding the dogs for 40 years, said they’re known for their olfactory capabilities.

    “Anything that is determined on ability of sense of smell could be done with them,” she said. “I think they’re smart, and I think they’re very trainable.”

    Although Riley is still very young, that sort of untapped potential could bode well for the museum and its mission.

    “It’s a fun way to think about how we might be able to improve our care. That’s why we are here, to care for and share these works of art,” said Getchell, of the MFA. “If we can do that through an adorable dog, it’s pretty awesome.”

    See Original Post


  • January 16, 2018 2:52 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from The New York Times

    Since Al Qaeda and then the Islamic State began calling on would-be terrorists to drive cars and trucks into pedestrians, officials in New York City have grappled with how to better protect people from vehicular attacks.

    It is a concern that gained urgency last year, first after a driver high on PCP drove three blocks on a Midtown Manhattan sidewalk, and then after a man plowed a rented truck down a West Side bike path in a terrorist attack that killed eight people.

    On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city would spend $50 million to secure high-risk public spaces from attacks by vehicles, and from vehicles that go out of control because of a medical emergency.

    The money will go toward a range of safety measures, including installing 1,500 metal bollards at some of the city’s most-visited locations and placing large planters at other vulnerable spots.

    At a news conference in Times Square on Tuesday, Mr. de Blasio said the bollards — metal posts intended to block vehicles — would replace some of the concrete cubes and barriers that had been placed as temporary measures near pedestrian areas vulnerable to attack.

    “That was necessary to immediately secure those areas in light of these new trends we’ve seen,” Mr. de Blasio said. “But we knew we needed long-term solutions, we needed permanent barriers.” Bollards, city officials said, will allow pedestrians to move more freely than the concrete barriers, which take up more room and are more cumbersome to navigate in a crowd. “People have to be able to get around, but they have to be safe at the same time,” the mayor said.

    Aside from Times Square, city officials declined to say where many of the bollards would go and noted that it would take a few years to install all 1,500 of them.

    In a 2010 article in its magazine, Inspire, Al Qaeda encouraged adherents to use vehicles “to mow down the enemies of Allah.” But the tactic did not really catch on among would-be terrorists until several years later, when the Islamic State began to call publicly for vehicle attacks. Since then, counterterrorism officials in New York City have watched with concern as men in cars and trucks rammed pedestrians in a string of deadly attacks from Quebec to Nice to Berlin.

    The spate of vehicle attacks prompted discussion about what more the city could do to insulate pedestrian areas from traffic, and whether, in Times Square at least, it made sense to further reduce traffic along some blocks.

    At the news conference, the mayor did not take questions and said little regarding tactics, besides installing the bollards.

    Bollards are not new to Times Square. They were installed by the dozens in the area in 2016.

    Last May, bollards on 45th Street eventually stopped the car whose driver, high on PCP, had driven along three city blocks of sidewalk, killing an 18-year-old woman and injuring 20 people.

    The city’s transportation commissioner, Polly Trottenberg, said that installing bollards is complicated because of the infrastructure and subway lines below some of the city’s busiest areas. “If you want to make them so they can really stop a vehicle, they need to go some distance into the ground,” Ms. Trottenberg said.

    A spokesman for the Transportation Department, Scott Gastel, said that there are “nearly 50 locations with such permanent bollards” around the city, but that they had mainly been installed by private entities, or diplomatic missions.

    See Original Post

  • January 16, 2018 2:45 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from The Guardian

    Police forces are to receive a £50m funding boost to help the fight against terrorism.

    The extra cash will increase intelligence and surveillance capabilities and pay for armed officers to patrol city centers.

    The home secretary, Amber Rudd, secured the rise in next year’s police counter-terrorism budget to at least £757m after convincing the chancellor, Philip Hammond, more money was needed to protect the public.

    Rudd said: “This represents our commitment to backing the talented and brave counter-terrorism forces with the resources they need to keep people safe.

    “Since 2015 alone we have increased counter-terrorism spending by 30% and pledged more than £500m in increased funding for the counter-terrorism budget, to protect the UK from the ongoing threat posed by terrorism.

    “This [latest funding] will allow counter-terrorism policing to meet head on the threat we face, working closely with our communities and continuing to disrupt those who would want to harm us.

    “We are also reviewing our counter-terrorism strategy to make sure we meet the unprecedented challenge.”

    Counter-terrorism police and the security services have disrupted 22 plots since the murder of Lee Rigby in May 2013, and nine since the Westminster attack in March this year. They are currently running well over 500 live operations.

    There were 400 arrests for terrorism-related offences in the year ending 30 September, an increase of 54% compared with the previous year.

    Rudd said: “Time and again our police officers have been at the forefront of our response, putting themselves in harm’s way to keep others from danger.

    “We will never forget the sacrifice of PC Keith Palmer who was fatally stabbed while defending our parliament.

    “This government stands alongside them, ensuring they have the resources, capabilities and powers they need.”

    See Original Post

  • January 16, 2018 2:37 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from The Times-Picayune

    A rifle used in the Battle of New Orleans that went missing from the Confederate Memorial Hall was returned to the museum over 30 years after it was stolen, FBI and state police investigators and museum officials announced Monday (Jan. 8), the 203rd anniversary of the battle.

    The weapon, a .38-caliber long rifle was used by William Ross during the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812, the assistant to the curator of the Confederate Museum Joseph Ricci said during a news conference. Ross fought in a local militia under Capt. Thomas Beale, and his rifle was used to help win the battle, Ricci said.

    Ross, a New Orleans flour inspector, earned $22.48 for his service during the war, Ricci said. The rifle, the only known verified weapon to be traced back to being in use during the Jan. 8-18, 1814 battle, was donated to the Confederate Memorial Hall Museum on Dec. 31, 1884 by Ross' grandson, Elijah Steele Ross.

    According to Ricci, the gun was documented as "hanging on the walls" in the museum in 1935, and appeared in various inventory lists as late as the 1960s. Although investigators are unsure when exactly the rifle went missing, investigators learned the gun was at some point located in a store in the French Quarter.

    In 1982, the rifle was traded for "several other weapons," and came into the hands of the person from whom the rifle was ultimately recovered, according to FBI special agent Randolph Deaton.

    The value of the trade was about $18,000 in 1982, Deaton said.

    Detectives with the FBI and Louisiana State Police started the investigation for the weapon in August 2017, and the rifle was found in a private home in south Louisiana in November, Deaton said.

    Deaton said the gun was, "hiding in plain sight," over the roughly 35 years it was missing, saying "the people who possessed the rifle for the past 30 years were extremely cooperative," during their investigation.

    The names of the store and individuals who were in possession of the weapon are not being released as neither are the subjects of a criminal investigation, Deaton said. As to the person who took the gun from the museum, Deaton said, "we may never know."

    Ricci said the William Ross rifle was made by Virginia gun-maker John Jacob Sheetz. It is a Kentucky style flintlock with a 42-inch barrel and is engraved with an inscription reading, "this rifle was used by my father Wm. Ross, a member of Cap. Thos. Beals company of New Orleans Riflemen in defense of N Orleans in 1814 and 1815."

    The rifle is now on display at the Confederate Memorial Hall Museum.

    See Original Post


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