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Parliament-Funkadelic Donates ‘Mothership’ to Smithsonian

Legendary stage prop will be on display at National Museum of African American History

The Mothership of the funk band Parliament-Funkadelic lands onstage on June 4, 1977 at the Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture have acquired The Mothership, an iconic stage prop used by George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic in their live shows. The ship, which has been donated by Clinton, is set to become part of a permanent music exhibition when the museum opens in Washington, D.C in 2015.

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The Mothership that will be on display at the museum will not be the original prop, which debuted during the funk band’s 1976 tour, but instead a 1,200-pound aluminum replica that was built in the mid-Nineties. The original ship was dumped off in a Maryland junkyard in 1982 by the group’s management company when faced with enormous debts. Though the Smithsonian attempted to acquire the original, no trace could be found.


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