MESA, Ariz. (AP) — An Arizona museum is grappling what to do with dozens of recently donated antiquities.
The Arizona Republic reports (http://bit.ly/1aAipL3) that while officials at Arizona Museum of Natural History in Mesa develop long term plans for the materials, the museum is planning public exhibits of the newly donated material as soon as the fall.
"We're thinking about redoing a number of galleries to do a comprehensive exhibition on the cultures of the Americas," museum director Tom Wilson said. "It elevates what we're doing. Although we have collections in a number of these areas, the quality and number of these just gives us new opportunities."
The donated pieces come from antiquities dealer Walter Knox and two anonymous donors.
Among the donated items are centuries-old tapestries and a 1,700 to 1,900 year-old Peru female figurine.
Museum officials say the gifts enable the museum to vastly expand the scope of its inquiry into pre-Columbian civilizations in the Western Hemisphere. Officials hope the museum will emerge as an institution of regional importance for interpreting life in the ancient Americas.
"If we can create a new wing and create all the prehistory of the New World, that basically is a unique resource in the country," said Jerry Howard, archaeologist at the Arizona Museum of Natural History. Doing so, he said, probably will require a fundraising campaign.