Entertainment & Arts

Phil Collins hands over Alamo artefacts

Phil Collins with Mexican Army helmet Image copyright AP
Image caption Collins' extensive collection includes a helmet used by a soldier in the Mexican army

Singer Phil Collins has handed over his large collection of Alamo memorabilia to a Texas museum, calling the donation the end of a six-decade "journey".

"I'm 64," he said of his fascination with the 1836 battle. "When I was five or six years old, this thing began."

Collins' collection includes a fringed leather pouch used by Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie's legendary knife.

"There's things in there that will make your mouth drop," the Genesis star said in San Antonio.

The donation was accepted on Tuesday by Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who is campaigning for a new historical centre to house Collins' collection.

"Texans are deeply indebted to Phil Collins,'' Patterson said. "He is giving us back our heritage.

"Now these Texas treasures need a home where all can see them and study from them and learn about how Texans won our liberty.''

Image copyright AP
Image caption Two of the Bowie knives used at the Alamo which form part of Collins' collection
Image copyright AP
Image caption A cannonball is also among the hundreds of items being donated

The legendary battle, named after a former mission in San Antonio, saw 1,500 Mexican troops lay siege to 200 Texans fighting for Texas independence.

Collins said he first became interested in the Alamo after watching a 1950s TV series about Crockett, the famed frontiersman who died in the conflict.

The Grammy and Academy Award winner's collection includes more than 200 items and is thought to be the largest in private hands.

"My nine-year-old son was saying, 'Why are you going to give it all away, Dad? I thought I was going to have it,''' he told reporters.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The singer's collection also includes Davy Crockett's leather shot pouch
Image copyright AP
Image caption Collins had been storing the items in the basement of his home in Switzerland

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