False e-mail, website target Crystal Bridges

Posted: November 21, 2012 at 9:24 a.m.

Designed by Moshe Safdie, the multiple buildings of Crystal Bridges Museum nestle seamlessly into the Ozark landscape.

A false website created this week claims incorrectly that the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will shut its doors Friday in a show of solidarity with striking Wal-Mart workers.

The website, linked in a false e-mail styled as a news release and distributed to some journalists, said the museum would close to support striking workers upset over having to report on Black Friday.

"It is awful," Diane Carroll, a spokesman for the museum said Wednesday morning. "It is a false website, false information, false quotes. There's nothing accurate to anything portrayed in it."

Crystal Bridges will be open Friday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., and staff members expect a big crowd. Admission is free.

Wal-Mart plans to open its doors at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, a move that some have criticized because it places employees in stores rather than home with family members.

The website and message purported to quote Alice Walton as supporting the striking workers and asking shoppers not to patronize Wal-Mart or other retailers this Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

It wasn't clear who was behind the hoax. The website was registered Tuesday using a Panama City-based firm that allows the registrant to remain private in Whois listings.

The website uses the Crystal Bridges logo and a design lifted from the official Crystal Bridges website. Carroll said she couldn't comment on whether the museum would pursue legal action against whomever created it.

"We just are dealing with the falsehoods and really have no additional information at this time," she said.