The National Park Service
has packed up the Indian art collection at Grand Teton National Park
in Wyoming and has sent all 1,500 items away for refurbishment.
About half of the collection at the Indian Arts Museum was already at the Western Archeological and Conservation Center
due to deteriorating conditions of some of the items. But the remaining artifacts recently were sent away amid growing concerns about the fate of what experts say is a significant collection.
"I think there are several factors that make this collection important, from my point of view, starting with the quality of the objects," Joe Horse Capture, an associate curator of Native American art at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
, told Greenwire. "They don't have as many objects, but they're of high quality and importance."
Officials estimate it will cost about $1 million to restore the collection. Meanwhile, the Indian Arts Museum will remain closed, while the Colter Bay Visitor Center undergoes renovations.
"I could see there were no humidity controls in the cases, and the sun was coming in much too brightly in some places," Kathleen Born, who was one of the last to see the collection before it was packed up, told Greenwire. "The building is not at all worthy of the quality of the pieces on display there."
Get the Story:
Condition of Rare Indian Artifacts Reveals Deficiencies at National Park Service Museum
Join the Conversation