Confederate Memorial Hall Museum in Jacket Dispute with Alabama Collector

This story comes from the Chattanooga Times Free Press. 

“BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — An Alabama collector says he bought a unique Civil War jacket fair and square, and he’s waging a court fight against the leaders of a Confederate memorial museum who say it was stolen from the New Orleans facility decades ago.”

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  1. Here’s another story on it:

    Because of my own background, I usually have a strong bias toward in favor of museums over individual collectors. But If this story is accurate, the museum has no substantive claim to the coat. Like many old museums, it seems they collected a whole bunch of stuff over the years, without ever really documenting what they had or establishing clear ownership of it. When they finally got serious about documenting their collection, around 1990, the coat in question was already gone. Even if they can prove that they possessed this coat at one time, it sounds like they cannot establish when or under what circumstances it left their possession, or that they ever held clear title to it. Until and unless they can do that, they have no claim to the item at all.

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