The so-called Mob Museum in downtown Las Vegas is going to receive a $300,000 grant toward restoration from the state Commission on Cultural Affairs. The museum in the old Las Vegas Post Office received the largest grant from the commission, which approved money for 28 projects. The Mob Museum originally asked for $900,000 but then pared back the request to $500,000.
We’re as fascinated by our mayor as the rest of the free world, but we really feel the need to call him on his latest comment on the arts, specifically that he doesn’t see an art museum as necessary for Downtown. Really, Oscar?
Turn on “This Week with George Stephanopolous” or visit the National Press Club in Washington, and there’s Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky again questioning the use of potential stimulus dollars for “things like mob museums and water slides.”
Las Vegas’ proposed mob museum has taken some hits of its own in recent weeks, targeted on late-night talk shows and Capitol Hill as an absurd showcase for the likes of Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, Meyer Lansky and Anthony “Tony the Ant” Spilotro. Museum backers say the critics don’t get it. This won’t be some sideshow exhibit celebrating the mob’s role as a storied part of Las Vegas’ past. Rather, it will offer a serious examination of organized crime and law enforcement’s efforts to combat it.
One of Mayor Oscar Goodman’s favorite downtown development projects, the mob museum, riled up a few Republican U.S. senators last week after they learned that the mayor had requested federal funds for the project.
Las Vegas’ proposed mob museum is a subject ripe for ridicule, and the Republicans here have held it up as just that. “We would like, on the spending side, obviously, to avoid funding things like a mob museums or water slides,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate.
Henderson wants a museum and the city is in the middle of a nearly $200,000 study to determine its content, location and funding. City officials say they want a nationally recognized institution that will cater mostly to residents.