August 5, 2009

Mob museum to open in Vegas in 2011

The U.S. courthouse in downtown Las Vegas is being renovated to make way for the Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, city officials said.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal said elected officials and former U.S. Senator Richard Bryan dressed as gangsters Tuesday and announced plans for the museum, which they said they hope becomes a tourist destination for those interested in the city's history, without glorifying the violence the mobsters perpetrated.

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said the museum will boast among its exhibits a section of wall where seven people were gunned down by gangsters during the 1929 St. Valentine's Day Massacre in Chicago. Also expected to go on display are courtroom drawings from organized crime trials and evidence the FBI has retained, the newspaper said.

There's a history of the mob's involvement here, and this will record the history, the Review-Journal quoted Bryan, a museum board member and former Nevada governor, as saying. "It certainly was a part of the growth of the city. You can't deny that. It's important, I think, to emphasize that this is not to glorify the

mob. They weren't fun guys at all."