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Life Mirrors Art Mirrors Artifact

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While visiting the National Museum of Natural History with National Geographic Weekend host Boyd Matson and producer Ben Shaw, I wandered across the Mall to the old Smithsonian Castle and took a look inside.

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I'm not sure what I expected, but it wasn't this!

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The pile of loot that fills the building's lobby was created as a prop by production designer Claude Paré for the film Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. It served as a throne for demented King Kah Mun Rah, and features reproductions of such national treasures as Dorothy's ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, Fonzie's leather jacket from 70s television sitcom Happy Days, and Archie Bunker's chair from another vintage sitcom, All in the Family.

You can hear National Geographic Weekend on the Salem Radio Network, or download podcasts from the iTunes store.

Photographs by Ford Cochran

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About National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 15,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit or follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.