Cash-starved Pa. city to sell Wild West artifacts

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HARRISBURG, Pa. — A collection of artifacts assembled by a former Pennsylvania mayor who dreamed of a Wild West museum and stockpiled the items using city funds is about to be auctioned off.

The weeklong sale starts Monday and includes some 5,000 lots. The material was collected by former Harrisburg Mayor Stephen Reed, who hoped they would be part of a Western museum to attract tourism.

His decision to use city money to purchase thousands of items for an Old West museum in the Northeast has been much criticized, especially as the financially troubled city tries to dig out from a massive financial crisis and near bankruptcy.

The items include a stuffed buffalo, about 500 firearms, Spanish colonial artifacts and an array of period clothes, antique advertising material and reproductions with minimal value.

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