Painting Of ‘Cellini’ And Lincoln To Stay At Springfield Museum

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — It looks like the name – and maybe the face – of now convicted power broker William Cellini will remain right up there with Honest Abe in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Cellini and his wife Julie have been big supporters of the Lincoln Library, which she helped establish and guide as secretary of the foundation.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

Cellini’s name is on a multi-million dollar “Ask Abe” exhibit, where an image of the 16th president answers audience questions.

Many observers also believe that Cellini has been painted in as an extra in an oil painting depicting Lincoln awaiting vote totals in the 1864 presidential election.

Museum spokesman Dave Blanchette says the artist has never said for sure whether that’s Cellini peering over Lincoln’s shoulder in the painting. Blanchette said there are no plans to remove the image in the picture, nor to remove Cellini’s name in the “Ask Abe” exhibit, following Cellini’s conviction for extortion conspiracy and aiding in the solicitation of a bribe.

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