Monday, May 24, 2004

Arms museum offers
history of U.S., Great Britain

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - Hundreds of people viewed weapons from the United States and Great Britain as the Frazier Historical Arms Museum opened its doors to the public.

The opening-day ceremonies Saturday included a parade, a ribbon-cutting and a daylong festival.

The museum is a $32 million, 100,000-square-foot showcase that details the history of Great Britain and the United States through weapons and their trappings. It features the personal collection of museum founder Owsley Brown Frazier, as well as part of the collection from the Royal Armouries in England.

"There's no facility like this one anywhere in the world," Louisville Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson said during the ribbon-cutting, predicting the museum would attract scholars, history buffs and families.

Gen. Sir Roger Wheeler, a trustee of the Royal Armouries, said he initially wondered about the Armouries' partnership with the Frazier museum, but he added he was pleased after seeing the results.

The parade included armor-clad re-enactors from the Royal Armouries in Leeds, England. Historical interpreter Rob Temple wore a reproduction of a mid- to late-15th-century Italian armored suit. As children gathered to touch the suit, Temple fielded questions and told onlookers how mobile the armor was. Knights could run, jump and mount their horses, he said.

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