Famous quilt celebrating Black history stolen, found and returned to the Oregon Historical Society

A famous quilt made in the 1970s to teach Black history and shown around the country during the 1976 United States Bicentennial celebration was stolen from the lobby of the Oregon Historical Society in Portland Sunday.

Police recovered the priceless quilt a few blocks from the museum, said museum executive Director Kerry Tymchuk. The theft occurred amid violent protests Sunday night in downtown Portland, several prominent statues were toppled and nearly a dozen windows were broken at the society’s pavilion lobby.

Tymchuk said the Afro-American Heritage Bicentennial Quilt is in one piece, but it was left out in the rain and some of the fabric colors have run.

The museum’s curatorial staff is drying it out, removing leaves and other debris, and mitigating the damage.

Vandalism to the museum building is estimated to cost about $25,000.

The historic quilt is no longer being displayed, but an online panel discussion scheduled

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