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Artifacts damaged in pipe leak at Rockford museum

Published: Monday, Dec. 30, 2013 5:30 p.m. CDT

ROCKFORD (AP) — A broken water pipe at a Rockford museum has damaged more than 200 artifacts.

It happened at the Burpee Museum of Natural History. The Rockford Register Star reports ( the pipe broke sometime between Dec. 23 and Dec. 26 when the museum was closed for Christmas. Employees came back to work to find 2 inches of water on the main floor and water leaking into the lower-level storage rooms.

Workers have had to air out thousands of stuffed birds, wild animals and Indian artifacts. That includes a hooded buffalo-hide ceremonial coat. Museum officials say they won't discard any artifacts. The pieces will either be restored or kept as-is.

The total dollar amount for the damage wasn't immediately clear. Museum officials say they're working with insurance adjustors.

The museum reopened Saturday.

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