Even museums get Super Bowl fever

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 27, 2014 at 2:33 pm •  Published: January 27, 2014

DENVER (AP) — The mayors of Seattle and Denver have salmon and green chile on the line. The directors of the art museums in the two cities have put up iconic statues in a wager on the NFL championships. And both cities are awash in team colors as Super Bowl Sunday approaches.

Christoph Heinrich, director of the Denver Art Museum, said Monday the fever surrounding the game is an opportunity for both cities to show off what makes them special, on and off the field. If Seattle were to win, Heinrich will send a Frederic Remington bronze of a cowboy on a bucking bronco to Seattle for three months. Heinrich calls the small statue, which is so detailed that wind seems to be ruffling the horse's mane and the rider's moustache, "one of the stars of our American West collection."

Kimerly Rorschach of the Seattle museum said in a telephone interview that when the idea of a bet was raised, she immediately thought of a Remington bronco.

"I want the trophy of their mascot," she said. "Then, I thought about what's the equivalent in our collection."

If the Broncos win, Rorschach will send an elegantly carved Seahawk mask, embellished in black, blue and red paint, from her museum's North Coast Native American collection to Denver for three months.

"But of course, it's not going there," Rorschach said in the genteel museum director's equivalent of trash-talking.

The losing museum will pay for the costs of packing and shipping the piece to be loaned. That would include a courier to accompany the bronze, Heinrich said. But he said he wasn't thinking about shipping logistics "since we'll win."

In the event of a Broncos win, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said he would send Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock salmon, Dungeness crab, a bicycle made by Rodriguez Bicycles in Seattle and auction off a blown-glass piece by internationally known Seattle artist Dale Chihuly to benefit a Denver program for the homeless. Murray will also wear Broncos pajamas in public if the Broncos win.

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