Lincoln’s hat, bloody gloves among items potentially at risk for auction to pay debt
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum may lose a few of the famed president’s key artifacts — such as a stovepipe hat Lincoln purportedly wore and the bloodstained gloves he wore on the night he was assassinated — as the foundation that supports the museum aims to pay off the loan it took out in 2007 to obtain them.
The items are part of the Barry and Louise Taper Collection, which the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation paid $25 million for in 2007 to obtain.
A total of $23 million was borrowed to fund the purchase, and the foundation still owes about $9.7 million, it said in a statement.
“While the foundation’s lender has been quite helpful, we now face significant uncertainty about whether the foundation’s lender will be willing and able to refinance the loan at affordable terms,” the statement reads. “The loan comes up for renewal in October 2019, just 20 short months away.”
Also included in the collection is an 1824 book containing the first-known example of Lincoln’s handwriting.
The foundation did not receive any financial commitments for state funding during a meeting at the office of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner this week, so it will continue to try to raise the funds privately “in the hopes of avoiding having to sell these unique artifacts,” it said.
The foundation noted in the statement that it has attempted to secure funds from the Illinois Legislature to help pay down the debt on three different occasions.
Rauner’s office did not immediately return a request for comment from ABC News.
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