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Best Art Museum Raided by the Feds Orange County 2008 - The Bowers Museum of Cultural Art

The Bowers Museum of Cultural Art

The Bowers Museum of Cultural Art

2002 N. Main St.

Santa Ana, CA 92706

714-567-3600

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So it only took 75 years, but something finally interesting happened at the Bowers. In January, federal investigators raided the place after learning that several Asian antiques, all of them purchased from a Southland dealer on the somewhat shady side, had apparently been looted from historical sites in Thailand. One has to wonder what ethical hand-wringing accompanied the retrieval of Native American and pre-Columbian artifacts that form the bulk of the Bowers' standing collection, much of which one would presume wasn't gifted to them by Ishi (last of the Yahi, you know) or a direct descendant of Eight Deer Jaguar Claw. Thank God lawyers and federal investigators weren't around back then, or else there wouldn't be hundreds of well-displayed artifacts—everything from Navajo baskets to pre-Incan fertility dolls—on hand to enjoy.

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