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Posted at 12:40 PM ET, 09/ 2/2010

No major damage to Phillips' artwork

By Washington Post editors

Update, 2:45 p.m.

There was no major damage to the collection, according to museum spokeswoman Cecilia Wagner, and nobody was injured in the fire.

“All artwork is safe and secure," she said in a statement. "Museum conservators are currently evaluating the artwork, but nothing has incurred significant damage.”

The museum is closed until further notice.

Earlier post.

The Phillips Collection, an art museum near Dupont Circle, has been evacuated and closed after a fire spread smoke through the building Thursday morning, authorities said.

Fire alarms went off at the building, located at 1600 21st Street NW, around 8:30 a.m. according to D.C. Fire Department spokesman Pete Piringer. A small fire broke out on the roof and in the ceiling of the top floor of the four-story building, he said.

The cause is still under investigation, Piringer said, but the building is under renovation and investigators believe welding work may be the cause.

Staff and firefighters moved artwork, according to Piringer, and the extent of any damage to the collection of French impressionist masterpieces and modern American work was not immediately known.

Read more details about the fire at the Phillips Collection on The Post's Crime Scene blog.

By Washington Post editors  | September 2, 2010; 12:40 PM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, DC  
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