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RST: Harrisburg's Wild West auction roundup

Written by Craig Layne, Morning Edition Host/Reporter | Jul 22, 2013 3:50 PM
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Photo by Craig Layne/witf

Artifacts in storage in November, 2011.

(Harrisburg) -- The capital city's massive, often-ridiculed Wild West Artifact collection languished for years in a public works building.

Now, the pieces that once gathered dust together will be scattered across the world, purchased by bidders at a seven-day auction last week.

The auction netted the city some $2.7M. It will be used to pay down the Harrisburg's debt as it struggles to become financially sound.

On Tuesday's Radio Smart Talk, we'll speak with Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey's Auction Co., about some of the more interesting items that crossed the auction block, and whether the sale presented any surprises.

We'll also hear from Bob Philbin, Harrisburg's Chief Operating Officer and Mayor Linda Thompson's Chief of Staff.

Philbin has said the auction represents a "symbolic transfer" from the city's "rocky past."

We'll also be joined by Tara Leo Auchey of Today's the Day Harrisburg.

She will offer insight on what people in the city are saying about the auction and Harrisburg's economic recovery efforts.

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Tara Leo Auchey, Bob Philbin, Arlan Ettinger

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Rascal the Auction Dog

Listen to the show:

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Comments: 4

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-07-23 08:38

    Lisa writes:

    How much was spent on these artifacts? I expected that more money would be raised through this auction. Did the city at least gain what was spent?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-07-23 08:51

    Lisa writes:

    How much was spent on these artifacts? I expected that more money would be raised through this auction. Did the city at least gain what was spent?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-07-23 08:52

    Dave in Red Lion writes:

    First of all,PA is a state with history in colonialism. Instead of the kid gloves on this issue. The discussion should be on the how's and why's of this collection. Between this and the incinerator,the discussion should be far more serious than what I'm listening to now.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-07-23 08:52

    Sarah in Chambersburg writes:

    Many cities have museums. I am worried that the stain of this "mistake" will deter future donors from establishing collection museums in Harrisburg. Often, museums like these are started by private donors. Is there a plan to encourage future collectors to establish a museum (of any sort) in Harrisburg?

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