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Wikileaks, Baton Rouge Style 

  Citing a Wikipedia article in a college term paper may bump you down a letter grade — or worse — but at the Louisiana State Capitol, Wikipedia articles were framed, under glass, in its halls. A computer printout of the Wikipedia entry for William Charles Cole Claiborne, Louisiana's first governor, was found next to Claiborne's statue. A similar stand for a bronze sculpture of P.B.S. Pinchback, the first black governor of a U.S. state, also had a Wikipedia printout next to it.

  The printouts had been up since 2009, through recent building renovations until late last week, when the House removed them. A House statement said the kiosks that held the printouts from the "online source" (not naming Wikipedia) were damaged, and once they're repaired, "they will be returned to their original locations and will contain copies of the original historical information."

  The statement said the House "did not place the online information at this site nor did it authorize placement by any party." So how did the Wikipedia articles get there?

  The building is on the National Register of Historic Places, so it falls under the National Parks Service's umbrella. State employees working in (and out of) the building aren't sure who is responsible for the statues — or for that matter, any of the printed history in the building's wings.

  Gambit's calls to the Capitol Building's tourism desk were referred to House Speaker Jim Tucker's office, which pointed to Secretary of State Tom Schedler's office, which pointed questions to the office of House Sergeant-at-Arms Clarence Russ, who pointed the questions ... back to the tourism desk. Building manager Pat Pickens and tour guide supervisor Faye Tillery were not available, but staff for both were unsure who is responsible for the printouts. A House research library staffer (who didn't want to be identified) says the staff was "horrified" to hear Wikipedia used as a reference, adding there are plenty of history books and historians available to type up a few paragraphs for the statues. — Alex Woodward


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