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Meteorite to go on display in Wichita

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, June 5, 2007, at 1:32 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008, at 5:15 p.m.

About a month ago, Greensburg recovered its famous 1,000-pound pallasite meteorite from beneath rubble near the World's Largest Hand-Dug Well.

Greensburg's newly appointed mayor, John Janssen, laughed Monday night when he said he wasn't sure where the treasured meteorite was. But because the City Council approved a contract with Exploration Place, he's sure he'll know where to find it very soon.

The Wichita museum intends to display the meteorite in its lobby, where donations will be accepted.

"It seemed like a really good fit," said Exploration Place spokeswoman, Christina Bluml. "We hope the best for Greensburg, and this is a good way to show that support for them."

The contract, which stipulates that Exploration Place must insure the rock for $1 million, still needs to be approved by officials of the Wichita museum.

The meteorite might travel to other places, such as the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, until Greensburg and the Big Well complex is ready for its return.

"We're happy to have it for as long as we can have it," she said.

The "falling star" was found in 1949 with the help of a modified World War II mine detector. The detector had been stored in the museum alongside the rock, and mangled pieces of it were found under the rubble.

Janssen said displaying the meteorite is a good way to remind Kansans that Greensburg "is still here."

Reach Amanda O'Toole at 316-268-6357 or aotoole@wichitaeagle.com.

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