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P-Funk Mothership to Sail to Smithsonian

Dorothy Rowley | 5/31/2011, 6:51 p.m.

In just a few years, Parliament-Funkadelic's legendary Mothership will have found a home among the Smithsonian Institutes museum complex
in the nation's capital.

The famed 1,200-pound aluminum prop, which was initially used in the mid-70s by funk master George Clinton's P-Funk band's raunchy concerts, is currently stored in a Maryland dry dock after being shipped from Florida, according to Black America Web (BAW).

"I'm about to cry,"Clinton said during a recent interview from his Tallahassee, Fla., home, BAW reported. "They're taking the Mothership! They're shipping out...But I'm glad it's going to have a nice home there."

Clinton founded his band in the 1950s. But the iconic spacecraft being donated to the Smithsonian is not the original show piece: it was

replaced after being sent to the scrap yard in 1982 when the band faced financial issues. The replacement - which was first used in the early 90s - will ge
an historical artifact treatment before it becomes a permanent exhibition of music at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture when it opens in 2015.

The prop will join other black music memorabilia on display, including Louis Armstrong's trumpet and "Soul Brother Number One" James Brown's stage costumes, according to BAW.

Meanwhile, "The Mothership Connection" - the 1975 Parliament-Funkadelic concept album has found its place in music history with VH1 reportedly ranking it the 55th greatest album in 2003. Rolling Stone magazine also placed the album 274th on its 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.