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O.J. Simpson museum turns morbid merchandise into art – Entertainment

A pop-up museum in Los Angeles is trying to show just how low society sank in its fascination with O.J. Simpson’s murder trial — and the writing’s on the wall.

The exhibit, open to the public this weekend, showcases items from board games to souvenir T-shirts which were sold around the time of Simpson’s infamous car chase, murder trial and eventual acquittal in 1995.

“I’d never really seen anything that kind of put together the fan culture that surrounded O.J., both positive and negative,” said Adam Papagan, who spent years collecting the merchandise and is the curator. “We wanted to do something that showcased that side of the story.”

Curator and collector Adam Papagan sets up the many items on display, which were gathered over several years, purchased online or borrowed for the exhibit. (Zulekha Nathoo/CBC)

Papagan, born and raised in Los Angeles in a community not far from where the bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were discovered, says he always had a fascination with the trial and public reaction to it.

“Even from age six, it was that this is a unbelievable event. It is very strange and out of the ordinary and people don’t know what to make of it.”

Boardgames, lottery tickets, wall of T-shirts

The museum includes hundreds of weird, quirky and at times, disturbing paraphernalia designed to make visitors think about just how far people went to monetize the worldwide fascination with the case.

Among them, a “Squeeze the Juice” boardgame, in which the object is to drain Simpson of his financial resources as part of his legal defence team. The “lawyer” who gouges him the most wins.

An O.J. Simpson pop-up museum in L.A. is featuring items, many of them distasteful, which were marketed and sold to capitalize on the fascination and popularity of the murder trial. (Zulekha Nathoo/CBC)

There’s also a special set of Pogs, a milk caps game popular in the 1990s, with the faces of Simpson, Brown and Goldman on them. Pogs…

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