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Rebuilt Civil War Diorama to be Unveiled Monday in Texas

Monday, November 16, 2009 at 11:00 a.m., a vibrant battlefield scene depicting the Battle of Palmito Ranch to Austin will be displayed at the Texas State Capitol Lower Rotunda in Austin, Texas thanks to the help of several Arizona legislators.

The battle scene is a recreation of an original, built by a group of students at Gilbert’s Highland High School and their History teacher, Glen Frakes. The original diorama, built two years ago, was intended for the Texas Military Forces Museum in Austin. At the time however, the director of the museum took issue with the historical accuracy of the diorama and intentionally destroyed it.

The issue drew both local and national attention, leading a group of Arizona legislators to request an investigation as well as the return of the diorama. In the end, the work was not returned. However, Ray Richie, the curator of the Texas Civil War Museum in Ft. Worth, Texas, commissioned the group to recreate the diorama for $23,000.

“It is an incredibly satisfying experience to see the recreation of this diorama,” said Sen. Huppenthal, R-Chandler. “You can really grasp the complexity of the battle field as you see the French soldiers, the water and the horses. This is a great piece of work.”

Pictures of the diorama recreation are shown below.

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