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Grand Rapids Public Museum Recycles Leonardo da Vinci Exhibit Banners

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The Grand Rapids Public Museum is going green by recycling large pieces of museum history. The Museum has partnered with PriorLIFE to create bags from recycled promotional banners for the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit. The Leonardo da Vinci bags will be sold in the Museum’s Curiosity Shop when they arrive

“We wanted to find a way to not always throw things away,” said Wendy Muller, retail manager for the Museum. “This is a unique way for people to take home part of the exhibit.”

PriorLIFE will be making tote bags and wine bags from the Leonardo da Vinci banners that were displayed outside of the Museum on the rotunda and on the street lamps on Front Ave. This is the first time the Museum has worked with PriorLIFE, but Muller said it will not be the last. “If this is successful, we will definitely do it again in the future,” she said.

Each product from PriorLIFE is unique and comes with a custom tag that describes the item’s “prior life.” PriorLIFE is a subsidiary of Traverse City, Michigan-based Britten, Inc., one of the largest banner producers in the U.S. PriorLIFE takes old vinyl banners, which do not decompose easily, and makes a variety of environmentally friendly products.

The Public Museum is open Tuesday 9 am - 8 pm; Monday, and Wednesday through Saturday 9 am – 5 pm, and Sunday Noon – 5 pm. Check the Planetarium’s website at for further details and a complete schedule of events. For information on the Public Museum, call 616/456-3977 or go to           

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what a good idea!