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Residents Concerned Over Rock Island Arsenal Museum

Over 200 local residents filled the Rock Island Arsenal Museum Wednesday night, to voice concerns about the possible relocation of many of its artifacts. 

Charles Bowery is the Director of the Center of Military History, which will take over management of the Arsenal Museum this fall. He says the museum has about 13,000 artifacts, and its storage facility does not meet the Army's security standards. 

About 600 artifacts have already been moved out of storage, to storage in Alabama, and that could be the fate for hundreds more.  
Bowery says the Army wants to limit the amount of artifacts all of its museums have in storage. But some residents argue even if the items are not currently on display, they still have significance to the Rock Island Arsenal.

Bettendorf resident, Elizabeth Louck, went to the town hall meeting to honor her father, Richard Maguire. He rescued many of the artifacts now at the museum, and founded the Rock Island Arsenal Historic Society. 

She wants future generations to experience the history of the Rock Island Arsenal.

Bowery says he does not recommend closing the Rock Island Arsenal Museum, and hopes to re-design its exhibits. He plans to hold another town hall meeting this summer, before recommending specific reductions to staff and the Arsenal Museum's collection this fall. 

About 20,000 people visit the Rock Island Arsenal Museum each year. 

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