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Thousands of artifacts to be moved out of Rock Island Arsenal Museum

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Rock Island Arsenal Museum photo from the Rock Island Arsenal Facebook Page

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois – Thousands of artifacts will be moved out of the museum at the Rock Island Arsenal, and into a facility in Alabama.

“The changes come as a result of Army-wide changes in museums and the maintenance of artifacts,” said a statement from the Rock Island Arsenal Garrison Public Affairs office.  “More than 3,000 artifacts will be moved from the Rock Island Arsenal Museum’s collection to the Field Museum Support Facility at Anniston Army Depot, Alabama.”

The Army-wide changes are happening as part of an effort to account for hundreds-of-thousands of artifacts at dozens of Army museums.  New facilities will be created, including a National Museum of the United States Army, a one-of-a-kind Army history facility that will be set on a 41-acre campus located on Fort Belvoir, Va., near Washington, D.C., according a report from the Joint Base in San Antonio.

Groundbreaking was planned for April 2016, with plans to open the national museum by June 2019, according to the Army Times.

“The Army is the only branch of the U.S. military that does not yet have its own national museum,” that report said.

Army museums across the country are being sorted as directors determine what belongs at those facilities and what should be transferred elsewhere.

A town hall will he held to discuss the changes to the Rock Island Arsenal Museum at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in the theater at the museum.

The Rock Island Arsenal Museum first opened in July 1905, and it is the Army’s second-oldest museum.  It is nationally-recognized for its large collection of small arms, with more than 1,200 small arms items on permanent display.