Southwest and Autry museum supporters head for an afternoon showdown *

The battle over the future of the Southwest Museum on Mt. Washington has been going on almost since the first day it was taken over in 2003 by the Autry National Center in Griffith Park. Many residents and organizations from Northeast Los Angeles have worried from the start that the 102-year-old Southwest Museum, which owns a treasure-trove of Native America artifacts, would lose its collection and its identity despite promises by the Autry to keep the Mt. Washington landmark open. This afternoon, before a city panel called the Board of Referred Powers, the Friends of the Southwest Museum will try to prevent the Autry from getting permission to expand its facility in Griffith Park as part of its effort to ensure that the Mt. Washington facility will remain an active museum.

* Update: The board postponed making a decision for three weeks to give the Autry Museum and Councilman Jose Huizar time to work on a binding agreement linking the expansion of the Autry in Griffith Park to the re-opening of the Southwest Museum on Mt. Washington.

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