Celebrating Whacking (and Other Mafia Maneuvers)

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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As Sopranos creator David Chase heads to court in defense of his show about a fictional crime family, Las Vegas announces plans to enshrine its actual mob connections in a new museum, the UK's Guardian reports.

Ironically headed by a former Sin City-based FBI agent, the as-yet-unnamed museum will focus on the seedier origins of America's playground. More Bugsy Siegel than Siegfried & Roy, organizers hope the space will accurately portray the strip's conversion from desert community to gambling mecca at the hands of the mafia. "Let's be brutally honest, warts and all. This is more than legend. It's fact," said Las Vegas' mayor Oscar Goodman of his city's gangster past. Of course, not everyone is happy about putting the spotlight on this era of the city's history, lobbying instead for the museum to include feel-good images of showgirls and the Rat Pack instead. Who knows? In 20 years, perhaps the museum will open a wing dedicated to Cirque du Soleil performances and strippers making out at Tao.

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