See The Real ARGO Artifacts At Spy: The Exhibit At Discovery Times Square

Community Invited for a Free One Day Only Viewing of Argo Artifacts February 20

Feb 18, 2013, 09:00 ET from Spy: The Secret World of Espionage

NEW YORK, Feb. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The movie ARGO has taken the world by storm and racked up an impressive number of awards, including top prizes from the Golden Globes, Producer's Guild, and Screen Actors Guild. 

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Now, all those who have seen and enjoyed the movie have a unique opportunity to see and enjoy original artifacts from the audacious CIA covert operation that resulted in the escape of six American hostages from Iran in 1980.  Indeed, the organizers of Spy: The Secret World of Espionage at Discovery Times Square are inviting the public to a free viewing of ARGO artifacts on Wednesday, Feb. 20 from 10am to 7pm, 226 West 44th St., between Broadway and 8th Ave. Tickets will also be available for Spy: The Secret World of Espionage at a discounted rate for those attending to see the Argo artifacts on that day only. Attendees can use the code "Argo" at box office to receive discount.

When Iranian militants, posing as students, stormed the American embassy in 1979 and took 52 hostages, six other members of the embassy staff were able to evade capture and took shelter at the home of a Canadian diplomat. ARGO chronicles the complex and dangerous operation of Tony Mendez, the now retired CIA intelligence officer who masterminded the plan to create a fake science fiction movie, "ARGO", to be filmed on location in Iran, and supported by a real office in a Hollywood studio. As part of the daring ARGO rescue, Mendez disguised the six as members of the movie's scouting team and later escorted them through the Tehran airport and onto a flight to Zurich, Switzerland. Their escape in 1980 had taken placed literally right under the noses of the feared Iranian Revolutionary Guard.  (The other 52 hostages were held for a total of 444 days before finally being released in 1981.) 

"While I appreciate all the attention that the movie has brought the ARGO operation, my goal was simply to help bring home a group of Americans who were innocent victims in a political war," said Mr. Mendez.  "However, I will say that it was one of the most creative operations with which I was ever associated.  And, I think that the movie did the operation real justice."

Mendez's new book, Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled off the Most Audacious Rescue in History (Viking Press), was released to critical acclaim earlier this year.

It is because of the success of the award-winning film ARGO that organizers of the Spy exhibit at Discovery Times Square want to enable all visitors and residents of New York City to learn more about this incredible feat.  Spy: The Secret World of Espionage in the only exhibit in the world that has actual artifacts from the secret CIA mission.

"We are so pleased to be able to showcase the real ARGO for the general public," said James Sanna, President of Discovery Times Square.  "Now that so many people have seen the film, they can see the actual story in action."

The ARGO artifacts being shown at Spy: The Exhibit include:

  • "Studio Six Productions" Logo Items: To lend credibility to the ruse, Studio Six Productions set up offices on the old Columbia Studio lot formerly occupied by Michael Douglas, who had just completed producing The China Syndrome.  A logo was created, and cards, stationery, and other logo items were produced.

  • Artist's Concepts for ARGO: The script had a Middle Eastern sci-fi theme that glorified Islam.  The story line was intentionally complicated and difficult to decipher.  Shown in the exhibit are the artist's concepts for the "film."

  • ARGO Producer Notes: This document includes an Introduction, Story Treatment & Locations, and Visuals.

  • ARGO Ads and Articles in Variety: Ads and articles were placed in Variety.  The ads proclaimed Argo to be a "cosmic conflagration" written by Teresa Harris (the alias selected for one of the six Americans awaiting rescue).

  • "Studio Six Productions" Accoutrements: Briefcases, folders, and other miscellaneous items marked with "Studio Six Productions" and "ARGO" logos and labels.

The community event will take place on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at Discovery Times Square, located at 226 West 44th Street from 10AM to 7PM. The exhibit will be open until April 7, 2013.

About Spy: The Secret World of Espionage

Presented by BASE Exhibitions, a division of Base Entertainment, Spy: The Secret World of Espionage is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to step inside the real world of intelligence. Forget what you think you know about spies from movies and novels, where fantasy usually gets mixed in with only a few kernels of truth. This interactive new exhibit will take you beyond the fiction and Hollywood drama and put you face to face with the fascinating truth behind the scenes. Encounter real stories and actual gadgets revealed for the first time ever from the CIA vault. Experience what it's like to be a spy firsthand by creating your own disguises, altering your voice, and navigating laser beams. Plus, gain exciting new insights into how intelligence really works – how science and technology play a major role, and discover how the men and women who do this kind of work shape the course of history every day.

Discovery Times Square (DTS) is New York City's first large-scale exhibition center presenting visitors with limited-run, educational and immersive exhibit experiences while exploring the world's defining cultures, art, history and events. More than a museum, DTS has featured a renowned line-up of exhibitions including Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, Leonardo Da Vinci's Workshop, King Tut, Pompeii The Exhibit, Dead Sea Scrolls: The Exhibition and most recently Terracotta Warriors: Defenders of China's First Emperor. DTS is located at 226 West 44th Street (between Broadway and 8th Avenues).

SOURCE Spy: The Secret World of Espionage