Would You Like to Own a President?

06 January, 2017

You are in luck if you want to buy a life-sized reproduction of a former American president.

On January 14, a museum plans to sell off its entire statue collection of 43 presidents and their wives. They are being offered for sale at a public auction. The First Lady statues, it should be noted, are not life-size.

The museum is in the historic town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It is called the Gettysburg Hall of Presidents.

The head of each statue is made of wax. The body is a combination of fiberglass and wood.

The business is closing after 60 years. It says not enough people come to visit. Visitors could hear recordings of important speeches made by the presidents.

Max Felt is the president of Gettysburg Tours, which operates the museum. He told the Baltimore Sun newspaper that his business had hoped for more visitors after the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. But attendance did not change much.

A statue of former president Gerald Ford will be available to collectors. (Pa. Onsite Auction)
A statue of former president Gerald Ford will be available to collectors. (Pa. Onsite Auction)

In the summer of 1863, the Union army defeated Confederate forces at Gettysburg. The battle proved to be a turning point in the American Civil War. The Confederates were forced to withdraw and retreat to the South.

President Abraham Lincoln made a famous speech in the town four months later. Lincoln spoke about freedom and equality of "all men."

In addition to the statues, the museum will be selling other objects at the auction later this month.

I'm Dan Friedell.

Matt Hillburn reported this story for VOANews. Dan Friedell adapted his story for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

If you could buy the statue of a president, which one would you buy? We want to know. Write to us in the Comments Section or on 51VOA.COM.


Words in This Story

auction – n. a public sale at which things are sold to the people who offer to pay the most

wax – n. a hard substance that becomes soft when it is heated and that is used to make various products (such as candles, crayons, or polish)

fiberglass – n. a light and strong material that is made from thin threads of glass and that is used in making various products — often used before another noun

tour – n. an activity in which you go through a place (such as a building or city) in order to see and learn about the different parts of it

retreat – v. an act of process of leaving, especially from what is a difficult or dangerous situation