July 31, 2001 Posted: 1:47 PM HKT (0547 GMT)
Ned Kelly armor fragment sold for $100,000
Australia's most enduring outlaw icon Ned Kelly
By CNN's Grant Holloway
MELBOURNE, Australia -- A piece of armor worn by Australian folk legend Ned Kelly has been bought by the State Library of Victoria for $100,000 (Aust. $200,000).
The single piece of shoulder armor was bought at auction Monday and adds to the library's existing collection of Kelly armor which includes the outlaw's helmet and breastplate.
Kelly, Australia's best-known outlaw, or bushranger, was captured and hanged in 1880 after a shoot-out with police in the Victorian town of Glenrowan.
At the shoot-out Kelly and his gang wore suits of home-made armor which had been fashioned from farming implements.
The shoulder piece is the last privately owned piece of Kelly's armor and was offered for sale by the family of a police constable involved in the capture of Kelly and his gang.
Librarian Fran Awcock told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the armor was an important addition to the library's collection and that the Commonwealth Government had helped with the funding of the purchase.
She said it was important for Australia that the piece remained in the country.
Kelly is an integral part of Australian cultural history with his defiance of the oppressive authority of the time striking a chord for many Australians.
The Kelly legend was the subject of a movie in 1970 starring rock musician Mick Jagger as Ned, and the outlaw featured in a series of paintings by renowned artist Sidney Nolan.
New York based Australian author Peter Carey also has the Kelly character as the narrator of his latest novel.