The Smithsonian on Friday dismissed reports that it was attempting to acquire the hoodie Trayvon Martin was wearing when he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of charges.
Despite reports, we are not currently seeking to add Trayvon Martin's hoodie to our collections. @NMAAHC— Smithsonian (@smithsonian) August 2, 2013
Lonnie Bunch, the director of the National Museum of African American History And Culture, had told the Washington Post that he was eyeing the hoodie, which had become a symbol for racial tension in America.
"It became the symbolic way to talk the Trayvon Martin case. It’s rare that you get one artifact that really becomes the symbol," Bunch said. "Because it’s such a symbol, it would allow you to talk about race in the age of Obama."
Having such an item on display would allow curators to ask "Are we in a post-racial age?" Bunch answered the question: "This trial says, 'No.'"
The hoodie will remain as evidence until civil suits against Zimmerman play out. Eventually, it will go back to Sanford, Florida, where his family will have the option of collecting it.
Although the Smithsonian says it is not currently trying to acquire the hoodie, it would not be unusual for a museum to collect an artifact from a notable historical event -- including trial evidence.