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16 October 2003

The largest overseas shipment of outlaw-related objects for the National Museum's new Outlawed! exhibition including fragments from Jessie James' coffin and Kevin Costner's costume in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves arrives in Canberra tomorrow.

The United States material goes on show next month as part of the exhibition, Outlawed! The World's Rebels, Revolutionaries and Bushrangers, which explores national outlaw legends from across the world.

Belle Starr, Billy the Kid and Jesse James will be profiled alongside Australian bushrangers, Japanese ninja thief Ishikawa Goemon and Maori warrior Hone Heke.

"The dime novels and movies which followed these outlaws' deaths often created the birth of their legends," says Outlawed! head curator Joanne Duke. "Outlawed! will present the fact and fiction and invite visitors to decide which version they prefer."

WHAT: Unpacking of United States Outlawed! material

WHEN: 10.30am, Friday, 17 October

WHERE: Loading Dock 1, near Admin entrance, National Museum of Australia

The fragments from Jesse James' coffin are poignant proof of the world's continuing fascination with outlaws. James was exhumed three times, most recently in 1995, when DNA testing finally proved beyond a doubt that the body in the coffin was his.

The shipment also includes movie memorabilia from the 1958 production The Left Handed Gun starring Paul Newman as Billy the Kid; the 1938 Adventures of Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn; and Reckless Kelly, the 1993 film starring Yahoo Serious.

The material is on loan from the Pony Express Museum in Missouri, the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles, the Museum of the Big Bend in Texas and others.

Outlawed!, presented by Lockwood, is on show at the National Museum in Canberra from 27 November, 2003 to 25 April, 2004.

For more information please contact Public Affairs Director Martin Portus on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481 or email

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