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Museum To Host Summit For USS Olympia Suitors

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We told you yesterday that a West Coast group wants to make a bid for the USS Olympia, the nearly 120-year-old cruiser now at Penn’s Landing, and they’ll get their chance this spring.

The Independence Seaport Museum will host a summit for transfer candidates at the end of March, says its CEO Captain John Gazzola.

They’ll get the lowdown on costs which Gazzola says can vary.

“$10 million for repair and $10 million for endowment is probably more accurate.”

The museum has already spent more than $5 million on repairs. So what’s left?

“We need to perform repairs on the vessel, especially repairs below the waterline.”

Gazzola says the poor economy and just plain lack of interest in the Olympia have combined to put Admiral Dewey’s Philippine campaign flagship in this sorry state.  In the worst case, it might have to be turned into a reef.

“That’s true. We’d prefer not to. That’s why we’re moving forward with the summit. The preferred option is to transfer stewardship.”

The Olympia is the last Spanish-American War Navy vessel left.

Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio

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