Harrisburg Mayor Calls for Closure of National Civil War Museum

Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse is making headlines today after he called for the closure of the city’s National Civil War Museum. Papenfuse called it a “monument to corruption” following news that criminal charges were filed against former Mayor Stephen Reed, a driving force in establishing the museum. More from timesunion.com:

[Former Mayor Reed] was arrested Tuesday on charges that over the years he illegally diverted funds borrowed by municipal agencies for other purposes that later helped push the debt-strapped city toward bankruptcy. He allegedly used the money to buy thousands of artifacts for the Civil War museum and for planned historical attractions that included aWild West museum that was never built in the state capital.

Reed, a Democrat who served for 28 years until he was forced out in 2010 by an election defeat, faces hundreds of counts of theft and misapplication of property as well as criminal solicitation, bribery and tampering with evidence.

The National Civil War museum opened in 2001. According to the article, the museum “can’t pay its way and does not benefit the city.” Then there’s the fact that it kind of doesn’t belong in Harrisburg—none of the war’s major battles were fought there. Mayor Papenfuse says he will consider legal action if board members fail to dissolve it.