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Portion of AIDS
quilt to be returned to creator

Portion of AIDS
quilt to be returned to creator

The foundation that owns the AIDS Memorial Quilt has agreed to return a portion of the quilt to the project's creator in San Francisco. The Names Project Foundation in Atlanta will return 280 of the quilt's some 40,000 hand-sewn panels to Cleve Jones, the gay rights activist who founded the project in 1987 in San Francisco, according to his attorney, Angela Alioto, on Wednesday. Under terms of the settlement, Jones will create a nonprofit organization--San Francisco Friends of the AIDS Memorial Quilt--to care for and display the quilt. Jones will also be given exclusive authority to fill two new positions on the Names board of directors, Alioto said. The settlement ends two years of legal wrangling over ownership of the 52-mile-long tribute, which features hand-sewn panels commemorating individuals who died of AIDS. Jones, who is HIV-positive himself, sued the foundation in January 2004 after claiming he was wrongly fired from his position as spokesman for complaining that the quilt was not being displayed prominently. Earlier this year a judge dismissed the wrongful firing and breach of contract portions of Jones's suit. Further settlement talks collapsed when the foundation refused Jones's request to bring the very first panel of the quilt to the city, which he made in honor of his partner, Alioto said. That first panel will now be returned to San Francisco. (AP)

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