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Illinois lawmakers to ask questions about Lincoln hat, museum future

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A state House committee plans a hearing to consider questions surrounding the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

The Tourism, Hospitality & Craft Industries Committee on Tuesday will review a $26 million collection of Lincoln artifacts the organization’s fundraising foundation purchased and the more than $9 million remaining on the loan .

Included is an iconic stovepipe hat purportedly belonging to Lincoln. A September report revealed secret research on its history that the foundation commissioned failed to produce a concrete link.

That has hindered the foundation’s efforts to get $5 million in state tourism tax receipts for debt-relief and strained relations with museum administrators.

Chicago Democratic Committee Chairwoman Ann Williams says she wants to avoid finger-pointing in favor of ensuring the institution’s future stability.

Both foundation and museum officials will attend.