Catalina offers exhibit on Indian grave plunderer

AVALON, Calif. (AP) — A Santa Catalina Island museum has opened an exhibit on a self-proclaimed scientist who dug up hundreds of local Indian graves and made a tourist trap out of their bones.

The exhibit on Ralph Glidden opened over the weekend at Catalina Island Museum. The display doesn't include any bones but it does offer necklaces and other artifacts of the Tongva Indians who once lived on Catalina and surrounding Channel Islands. The introduction says Glidden disregarded "the sanctity of human remains" and inflicted "near-permanent damage" on research into local Native American life.

In the 1920s and '30s, Glidden excavated Indian graves and relentlessly promoted his findings. He also built a museum that included bones as architectural elements — including windows edged with finger bones. It closed in 1950.