Appeal planned over Jim Thorpe's body in PA

Written by The Associated Press | May 10, 2013 12:04 PM

(Harrisburg) -- Jim Thorpe Borough Council has voted to appeal a federal judge's order to relinquish the famed athlete's remains so they can be reinterred on American Indian land in Oklahoma.

Thorpe's sons sued the northeastern Pennsylvania borough in Carbon County, claiming the town amounts to a museum under the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

But, the borough plans to challenge that assertion, saying it isn't a "federally funded" museum under the law despite receiving "trickle-down" federal funding through development grants.

A federal judge agreed with Thorpe's sons last month.

Thorpe was buried in Pennsylvania after his third wife made a deal with two merging towns to name the new town after Thorpe, who died in 1953.

The borough says the appeal will be cheaper than complying with the judge's order.

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