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Packing Treasures for Transport

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Preparing a large collection for shipping is a big job, to be sure.  However, when that collection is an estimated $10-million worth of irreplaceable artifacts as much as 200 years old, that task takes on a whole new emphasis.  Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott says the David T. Vernon Indian Arts Collection from the Colter Bay Visitor Center is the focus of a very pains-taking effort as it are being prepared to travel to the National Park Service Western Archeological and Conservation Center in Tucson, Arizona for cleaning and restoration.  Scott says curators from the Center are working with curators from both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks to be sure the items are packed correctly for transport.  Furthermore, Scott says the Park has been involved in on-going consultations with the Native Americans represented in the collection regarding the move and treatment of what they consider sacred objects.  She says the items will undergo several years of restoration once it arrives at the center. Altogether, the collection represents about 100 tribes with some 1400 items ranging from clothing and jewelry to musical instruments, tools and toys.  The process of arresting the deterioration many of the artifacts have seen, and conducting some limited restoration is estimated to cost upwards to $1-million.  Then, much of the collection will be stored at the conservation center until suitable arrangements for their storage and display can be made in Grand Teton National Park.  In our next story in this series: a look at ideas being considered for the future display of the collection.

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