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Indiana Jones’ Hat and Coat Donated to Smithsonian

May 26, 1989 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Would that world famous archeologist, Indiana Jones, ever have imagined? His own hat and jacket have become the nation’s artifacts.

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History greeted with pretentious pomp Friday the arrival of its new objects: Indy’s brown fedora and worn leather jacket.

They were presented by Harrison Ford, the actor who has played the daring archeologist in two hit movies.

″I was surprised, flattered″ at the invitation, he insisted, although the whole thing was timed perfectly to plug the third Indy movie just out.

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His trademark attire isn’t going on immediate display. But museum officials said it may someday take its place alongside such pop-culture treasures as Superman’s cape, Dorothy’s slippers and Howdy Doody himself in the History of American Entertainment Collection.

Ford and his gifts were welcomed at a news conference, with as many cameras as any at the White House. Museum director Roger Kennedy had Ford sign a ″deed of gift″ and did his best to find some profound significance in Indy, Ford, and what they reflect in American culture.

Ford, as Indy, fights ″high-density mythological structures″ and brings the viewer ″escape from the bureaucratization of American life,″ the museum director said. He said Indy ″has a kind of redemptive diffidence.″

How’s that?

″He is us at our baffled best,″ Kennedy said. ″Mr. Ford has found a place for us in American drama. He has also managed to make it fun.″

Ford’s aw-shucks reply: ″That’s rather more about me than I had any notion. I’m flattered to be here and have these artifacts on display.″

He donned the fedora for begging photographers, playfully flipped up the bill, and answered all the usual movie-star questions.

No, he won’t play Han Solo again in another Star Wars sequel. Adoring fans, he said, are ″very satisfied customers,″ a bit disturbing ″but it’s a fair deal.″

For the record, the artifact facts: the fedora is size 7 1/4 ; the jacket is custom made in London, no size given.

And no, they weren’t the only ones he wore in the films. He’s kept one jacket for himself. ″I’m sure all the rest have been destroyed - shredded,″ he said, not convincing anyone.

So, what would Indy Jones think of all this?

″He’d say, ’thank you very much,‴ Ford said.