The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation is taking legal action to stop an online auction of a vial alleged to contain the late president's blood.
"The Reagan Foundation is actively pursuing legal matters against both the seller and the auctioneer," spokeswoman Melissa Giller said Tuesday, according to AFP.
John Heubusch, the foundation's executive vice president, condemned the sale of the vial, which is claimed to date from the 1981 assassination attempt on Reagan, by PFC Auctions an auction house in the British Channel Islands.
"If indeed this story is true, it's a craven act and we will use every legal means to stop its sale or purchase," Heubusch said.
PFC Auctions' web site describes the item as "a glass vial which was used to hold a sample of President Ronald Reagan's blood after an assassination attempt in 1981."
As of late Tuesday night on the East Coast, the top bid for the vial was $14,463.75. Bids will be taken until Thursday.
The vial has a label with Reagan's patient ID and surgeon's name at George Washington University Hospital. The winning bid also receives the accompanying lab slip.
The vial is a family heirloom of sorts, handed down from a lab worker at Bio Science Laboratories in Columbia, Maryland, who did the blood testing. The lab worker asked if she could keep the test tube and lab slip. "It has been in my family ever since," according to the statement from the vial holder on the auction site.
The holder originally contacted the Ronald Reagan Presidential National Library, which declined to accept the vial. The family might be interested in getting it back, the holder was told.
The vial holder, a former Army soldier, instead chose to go to an auction house. "I was a real fan of Reaganomics and felt that Pres. Reagan himself would rather see me sell it rather than donating it," she said on the auction site.
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