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'A True Story of Freedom' Amistad exhibit goes to United Nations for viewing through April 25

Published March 24. 2010 4:00AM   Updated March 25. 2010 7:36AM

New London - Today, the New London Maritime Society-Custom House Maritime Museum is bringing the Amistad story to the United Nations.

The exhibit - "Amistad: A True Story of Freedom" - will be on view at United Nations headquarters in New York through April 25 as part of the UN's 2010 Slave Trade Remembrance activities.

The exhibit, a collection of scrims and panels on the Amistad revolt depicting the rebellion and trial, is one part of a three-part installation assembled by the United Nations' exhibitions team.

The second part, "African Resistance," is composed of images from the Schomburg Digital online exhibition on the "Abolition of the Slave Trade: The Forgotten Story," in which pictures and text depict the struggles of enslaved peoples to regain their freedom.

The third component, "The Haitian Inspiration," includes paintings and pictures submitted by the Caribbean Cultural Center and by Haitian-born artist Patricia Brintle, depicting the Haitian revolution and other forms of resistance.

The Amistad exhibit was created by the Connecticut Historical Society and displayed in Hartford for 12 years. This spring, the Connecticut Historical Society donated the exhibit to the Custom House Maritime Museum.

The Amistad story is of particular significance to the city of New London, the only American port to which the original La Amistad ever sailed and where abolitionists first spoke up in defense of the ship's captives. The Custom House is where the ship and its cargo were auctioned off after the trial.

Following its installation at the United Nations, the Amistad exhibit will be permanently installed at Custom House Maritime Museum's Lucille Showalter Gallery.

The opening at the museum, featuring slavery scholar James Walvin, will take place May 20. For more information, go to www.nlmaritimesociety.org.

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