Ephemera left behind by rioters after Capitol attack now collected by museum

Discarded signboards, stickers, flags are being collected to be added to the museum archive

The recent attack on the US Capitol — by a mob that stormed the building and tried to disrupt political proceedings on January 6 — has been condemned by both Democrats as well as Republicans in the country. The shocking episode made news all over the world, and now it has come to the fore that despite the violation, something interesting has come out of it. Museum curators have picked up the objects that were left behind by rioters, and have decidedly added them to their archive.

According to a report in The National, discarded signboards, stickers, flags, and other such ephemera are among the objects that the curators at National Museum of American History — a branch of the Smithsonian Institution — have been collecting in order to add to their archive.

Anthea M Hartig, the museum’s director, has said in a statement: “As an institution, we are committed to understanding how Americans make change. This election season has offered remarkable instances of the pain and possibility involved in that process of reckoning with the past and shaping the future. As curators from the museum’s Division of Political and Military History continue to document the election of 2020, in the midst of a deadly pandemic, they will include objects and stories that help future generations remember and contextualize Jan. 6 and its aftermath.”

She has also urged the public to save and share materials “that could be considered for future acquisition” and could help educate future generations about the event.

The outlet also mentions that the museum had collected material — signs and banners — from the Black Lives Matter protests in summer 2020.

Of the many objects found at the site of the riot, was a sign that read: “Off with their heads – stop the steal”, by one of the museum’s curators, Frank Blazich, the outlet stated.

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