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Marshall Foundation shifting focus away from museum

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 5:26 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) - The George C Marshall Foundation and Museum has been an attraction in Lexington since it opened in 1964.

But now they’ve announced it will be greatly reduced as part of refocusing the foundation’s attention on research.

For decades, tourists have gone to the Marshall Foundation’s museum to see its electronic map and artifacts of the man who not only led the Army through World War II, but won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts after.

But like so many other public institutions, the museum spent much of 2020 in the dark.

“It just seemed like the time,” said Marshall Foundation President Paul Levengood.

Time, he meant, to look at the future of the museum and its place in a foundation that is seeing itself more as a place for research and archives.

“It’s been coming for a while,” he said. “Certainly since I got here and was charged with creating a new strategic plan and figuring out a direction, this seemed to be the way to go. But COVID put a fine point on it.”

So a portrait of Marshall will keep an eye on researchers in the library, and they hope will be even more available electronically, but they’re still working on what a smaller, permanent public display of some of their most significant artifacts will be.

“We’re still determining exactly how best to use the space,” Levengood explained. “So kind of stay tuned I would say, going forward.”

In the meantime, while COVID keeps them closed, the digitizing of the extensive archives continues.

“The board is fully committed to and the staff is excited to push things forward,” Levengood said. “So stay tuned.”

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