It’s nothing compared to the famous 1836 battle between Mexican and Texian troops, but there’s trouble brewing over the Alamo once again. In a random twist that you just couldn’t make up, British singer Phil Collins is in the middle of it.
Collins, who moonlights as an expert on the Battle of the Alamo, is being sued for damages over artifacts allegedly stolen from a fellow Alamo aficionado. Don Ray Jank says that photographs of items from a $40,000 collection stolen from him appear in Collins’ recent book on the subject, The Alamo and Beyond: A Collector’s Journey.
“I feel sorry for the guy,” Jank told the San Antonio Express-News, adding that he doesn’t believe that Collins stole the items, just that he’s a naive collector who got involved with the wrong crowd. “I’m not after Collins… I just want justice.”
Rather, a Texas car salesman is accused of actually stealing the Alamo collectibles. The valuables Jank is crying foul over include a gun barrel, buttons, flaming bomb emblems and pieces of Mexican headgear.
Historical memorabilia dealer Jim Guimarin says he’s been in the Alamo game long enough to be wise to Jank’s ruse. “It goes on and on with this guy. I think he’s trying to get a nuisance lawsuit going,” said the owner of The History Shop, which is located near the Alamo grounds. “The only reason he’s suing is because of Phil Collins.”
The Battle of the Alamo was one of the most crucial points of the Texas Revolution. All but two Texian defenders were killed there, spurring anti-Mexican forces to gather and permanently defeat the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto the following month. The Alamo, a Catholic mission and compound that housed troops, still stands in downtown San Antonio as a historical museum.