May 22, 2020
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World War II museum in Boston suburb abruptly closes

In this Aug.15, 1944, file photo, barrage balloons hover overhead as a line of World War II landing ships ranks are loaded with vehicles and supplies in a southern Italian harbor.

NATICK, Massachusetts — A World War II museum in the Boston suburbs has abruptly closed.

The International Museum of World War II in Natick said on its website it closed Sunday after an individual acquired most of its collections.

The Boston Globe reports that billionaire Ronald Lauder, an heir to the Estee Lauder cosmetics empire, purchased the holdings for $25 million in March 2018. Among the thousands of artifacts acquired were a Sherman tank and Adolf Hitler’s uniform.

Lauder, an ambassador to Austria under President Ronald Reagan, told the Globe he wants to find a new home for the artifacts that will give them wider exposure.

Museum founder Kenneth Rendell said he’d been trying to relocate the 20-year-old museum to Washington after failing to raise enough money for a new home in Natick.


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