Billionaire's sports and music memorabilia collection on display in New York

NEW YORK, June 3 (Reuters) - Billionaire Jim Irsay's private collection of American history artifacts is on display to the public for free for just one day in New York on Friday.

"I want no money," said Irsay, who is owner of the National Football League's Indianapolis Colts team. "This is my effort to make the world a better place... It's to allow people to see it and share these things."

Irsay, 62, amassed the collection over about 25 years. It features instruments of rock n' roll legends, American literature manuscripts, and the first national Thanksgiving declaration in 1777.

The focus is on powerful people who changed the world.

"I have JFK, his rocking chair, Jackie Robinson's bat that he hit a homerun World Series with, Muhammad Ali's shoes from the 'Thrilla in Manila' against Joe Frazier," Irsay said. "It's so eclectic because it's everything."

Irsay's most prized item is the original typewritten scroll for Jack Kerouac's "On the Road," which he bought in 2001 for $2.43 million.

In May he paid nearly $5 million for Kurt Cobain's 1969 Fender Mustang electric guitar from Nirvana's 1991 music video, "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

The collection also features guitars played and owned by Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Prince, Eric Clapton, The Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd.

The seven-city tour began in Nashville in September 2021, and will next move to Indianapolis and Chicago.

Reporting by Alicia Powell; Writing by Richard Chang; Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

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