YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Guns made by 3-D printer are acquired for London museum's collection

September 17, 2013|By Jamie Wetherbe
  • An image from a Defense Distributed video demonstrating the Liberator, a gun that can be made using a 3-D printer.
An image from a Defense Distributed video demonstrating the Liberator,… (Defense Distributed )

The world’s first guns made by a 3-D printer will join the ranks of some of the world's finest art.

London’s Victoria & Albert museum announced it's buying a pair of pistols, known as Liberators, for an undisclosed price to add to its Design Festival on display through Sept. 22.

The museum, which has displayed priceless pearls from the Roman Empire and treasures from Russia's royal courts, purchased the pistols and some related parts from Defense Distributed, a nonprofit digital publisher that created the weapons.

PHOTOS: Arts and culture in pictures by The Times

The Liberator was first demoed in May in the video below, and soon after, the $25 DIY project sparked debate on a new kind of gun control.

The blueprints for the gun were downloaded more than 100,000 times within days, and the State Department demanded that Defense Distributed stop making them available.

The V&A, which could have just printed a replica, instead decided to add the Liberator to its collection, which ranges from new takes on furniture to toasters.

In a statement announcing the acquisition of the gun and four other pieces for the Design Festival, Martin Roth, director of the V&A, said the items reflect "what is new, influential, innovative or experimental, and what is representative of current trends in design and society."


New York art dealer pleads guilty to fraud

Getty lab cleans Jackson Pollock's 1943 'Mural.' What a difference.

Theater review: 'R II' is a charming take on an ill-equipped ruler

Jamie Wetherbe


PHOTOS: Hollywood stars on stage

CHEAT SHEET: Fall Arts Preview

PHOTOS: Arts and culture in pictures

Los Angeles Times Articles