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Beware the Civil War relic: It could be stolen - or a fake

Published on Jul 4, 2013 6:59 AM
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Mr Stephen W. Sylvia, a military historian, author and antique store owner, holds up a pair of bottles he unearthed while digging for relics, in this undated handout photograph provided by him. With 250,000 visitors expected to converge on the Gettysburg battlefields this week, historians and antiquarians say the 150th anniversary of the clash that defined the US Civil War has prompted an increased interest in Civil War relics - and an apparent uptick in the thefts and faking of conflict memorabilia. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

GETTYSBURG, Pennsylvania (REUTERS) - With 250,000 visitors expected to converge on the Gettysburg battlefields this week, historians and antiquarians say the 150th anniversary of the clash that defined the United States (US) Civil War has prompted an increased interest in Civil War relics - and an apparent uptick in the thefts and faking of conflict memorabilia.

While there are no national statistics about thefts of war mementos, museums and law enforcement officers around the nation have reported a range of incidents involving the plundering of Civil War artifacts.

The thievery even extended to the current Gettysburg re-enactment, where criminals made off with a trailer containing war items valued at US$10,000 (S$13,000) in Frederick County, Maryland, last month.

Ms Cheri Gainor, owner of the missing goods, is portraying a camp laundress in the Gettysburg battle commemoration on July 4-7.

 
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