Morehouse to Get Papers Of Martin Luther King Jr.

Associated Press
Saturday, June 24, 2006

ATLANTA, June 23 -- Morehouse College President Walter Massey said Martin Luther King Jr.'s alma mater will receive the more than 10,000 handwritten documents and books from the King estate that have been housed at Sotheby's auction house in New York.

In an effort led by Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, a coalition of individuals and business and philanthropic leaders agreed to purchase the King collection, Massey said, adding that the college was intimately involved in the negotiations.

The collection, which had been valued by Sotheby's at $15 million to $30 million, had been scheduled to be auctioned June 30. Massey said the Atlanta group offered more than that.

"I don't know [the] exact figure, but it's more than $30 million," Massey said in a telephone interview Friday night.

Sotheby's Vice Chairman David Redden said the auction will not take place, though the public exhibition of the collection will continue through Thursday, as previously scheduled.

"I can't imagine a better home than the home of Dr. King for this collection," Redden said. "It was there for years; it's going to be there forever. I think that's a marvelous conclusion to this extraordinary process. It guarantees that it will be looked after properly and made available to the public."

Redden would not disclose the purchase price but said Morehouse College will acquire the collection.

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