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US black history museum installs 2 large artifacts

Sunday - 11/17/2013, 12:45pm  ET

A guard tower, lower right, from Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as "Angola" and "The Farm" is lowered into the construction site of The National Museum of African American History and Culture, beside the Washington Monument, in Washington, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013. The tower, part of the museum’s inaugural exhibition on segregation, is too large to install after the building is complete and will be installed during construction and the museum will be completed around it. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Crews are installing two large artifacts inside the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture while it's still under construction on the National Mall.

Museum officials on Sunday were overseeing the installation of a segregated Southern Railway train car made by the Pullman Company in 1922. The passenger car was modified to have segregated seating to comply with Jim Crow laws at the time.

The other large piece being installed is a prison tower from Angola, the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Curators had been looking for items to illustrate the incarceration of black people in the 20th century and the practice's links to slavery.

Both pieces are being lowered into the museum construction site by cranes. They're too large to install once the museum building is complete in 2015.


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