Smithsonian Preserving Items From Storming of Capitol Police officers in riot gear move protesters gathering at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
By Eric Mack | Thursday, 14 January 2021 03:46 PM
The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is going to preserve signs and items destroyed in the Capitol to "contextualize Jan. 6 and its aftermath," according to National Museum of American History's Elizabeth Macmillan Director Anthea M. Hartig.
"As curators from the museum's Division of Political and Military History continue to document the election of 2020, in the midst of a deadly pandemic, they will include objects and stories that help future generations remember and contextualize Jan. 6 and its aftermath," Hartig wrote in a statement.
Which items left behind and destroyed that will be preserved have not been made public, but The Washington Post reported the items include a sign reading "Off with their heads: Stop the steal," insurrection stickers, and flags.
"As a historian, I have always believed in the power of peaceful protest," Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III said. "[The day's] demonstrations give us a glimpse of the fragility of our democracy and why the work we do and the stories we tell are so important."
After a Trump rally on the day Congress heard constitutional objections to Joe Biden's electoral college victory, rally goers breached the Capitol Building in a demonstration that left five dead, including a Capitol Police officer and a U.S. veteran. The FBI and Justice Department are actively investigating and pursuing charges against the protesters.
Committee on House Administration Chair Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., is reportedly assisting with the collection of items, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's nameplate, the New York Post reported.