The attempted auctioning off of a battlefield map that was formerly used at a Gettysburg visitor’s center has run into some roadblocks since the device likely contains asbestos.
After serving as a descriptive visual aid that outlined troop movements during the Civil War battle for 70 years, the National Parks Service retired the battlefield map in 2008 when a new museum and visitors center opened at Gettysburg National Military Park.
We finally came to the conclusion that it was outdated as an interpretive device, park spokeswoman Katie Lawhon said, according to the AP.
The map was stored away until recently, when plans were developed to auction the map off. However, because the topographical map was likely created using asbestos products, a waiver from the General Services Administration has to be obtained before it can go to auction. Otherwise, it will have to be destroyed.
Regardless of the battlefield map’s eventual destination, the revelation of the asbestos it may contain must be troubling for the countless visitors to Gettysburg. Prior to its decommissioning, the map was freely exposed to guests at the visitors center for 70 years. It’s nearly impossible to quantify how many visitors could have been exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos during that time.
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