If you’re planning to come to Washington, DC to visit the Enron exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution, you might want to re-think that trip. There’s not going to be any Enron display, says a museum official, who noted that news stories about an Enron display were, to put it mildly, greatly exaggerated.
“I have no idea of how these stories got started,” said Jim Gardner, associate director for curatorial affairs for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. He acknowledged the museum has collected two Enron items — the company’s ethics manual that was distributed to staff annually, and a coffee mug — but it has no plans to display them.
“Maybe at some point in the future they will be shown if we do something on business history,” Gardner said, but he noted that would be “10 years off.” The “story of Enron might be a piece of that.”
He said the museum collected the ethics manual and coffee cup now because they are “ephemeral” items that could disappear in a year or two. “They have mass appeal,” especially the coffee cup.
Gardner noted that the Smithsonian was not looking to collect more Enron objects at the present, but he said it may have “discussions about it” later.
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