By John W. PeelerMay 29, 2009
"It flies and it lands on two feet and it has something to do with your head," said Mike Criscillis, National Infantry Museum curator when speaking about an exhibit that will be on display for the first time when the new museum opens June 19.
"It was in the development test stage and used in the testing," he said. "It was very significant and went through a couple of steps and that is all I am going to say."
Whatever the mystery artifact is, it is only one of many artifacts not seen by the public before, he said.
"We will have about 80 or 90 figures on display," he said. "I don't want to give away too much, but we have about 12 figures that will be unique. They are under lock and key and no one can see them (right now)."
Criscillis said the staff is making minor adjustments on the displays in the 10 galleries in the museum.
"It's like putting a living room together," he said. "You have to try out different furniture, different artwork. We are using other artifacts out of the collection to tell the story."
Criscillis said artifacts are being put through a cleaning process prior to moving the items or putting them on display.
"Everything we are doing is by the numbers," Criscillis said. "We don't want to contaminate the new area. It's just like a surgical procedure. We are making sure we do it right and only have to do it one time."
For now, the cleaning process is being conducted at the old museum, he said. But, the new museum will have a designated area the artifacts will go through prior to being stored or put on display.
"At the new museum we will have a conservation lab, we call it the crime lab, that has special kinds of equipment and an archive lab that has special types of shelving for the artifacts. So once the item goes through the cleaning process it will go into the new shelving - we don't want to contaminate our new area.
"We want to make sure we are a world-class facility."
The museum is located off of Fort Benning Road at 1775 Legacy Way, approximately two miles south of Victory Drive and outside the access control points of Fort Benning. The Soldier Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. World War II Street, IMAX Theater, Soldier Store gift shop and Fife and Drum restaurant are also open to the public.
The Museum's ribbon cutting and grand opening is at 11 a.m. June 19.