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1/10/2019
Museum exhibit remains closed following quake

ANCHORAGE (AP) — An exhibition featuring Alaska Native artifacts will remain closed until earthquake-cracked display cases are repaired at the Anchorage Museum.

The exhibit displaying hundreds of items on loan from the Smithsonian Institution is expected to reopen in mid-March, the Anchorage Daily News reported Tuesday.

The magnitude 7.0 earthquake caused small cracks on specialized glass cases that hold the artifacts, said Kirsten Anderson, the museum's deputy director of collections, special exhibitions, and projects. It did not damage any of the artifacts.

The Nov. 30 quake did cause minor damage in the museum's older part of the building, but normal operations mostly resumed within days.

"Fortunately, we have really great conservators and mount-makers," Anderson said, noting the museum in general fared well.

To repair the glass, Smithsonian representatives will need to be at the museum, Anderson said. The items will be temporarily removed during repairs.

"The glass itself has specialized requirements for allowing artists and researchers to open them quickly and carefully," Anderson said.

The exhibit is part of the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center. It features hundreds of Alaska Native artifacts, including a 1935 Inupiaq feast bowl from a village near Nome, and an 1893 Tlingit war helmet from Taku in southeast Alaska.

The exhibit opened in 2010 and closes in 2022.