The White House Wants You to Stop Stealing Their Place-Card Holders

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They are locking the door so you will stop stealing their damn spoons.Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM/2011 AFP

Before dessert was served at the last White House State dinner, the expensive place-card holders at each table had to be whisked away. People keep stealing them. The antiques dealer who designed them has had to make 800 for the past two presidents. Towels and spoons keep disappearing, too. Not all of the thieves are quite as open about their need to take home a souvenir as Meryl Streep, whose office confirmed to the Washington Post that, yes, she does have a few presidential hand towels at home. The White House Historical Association’s chief historian told the Post this is old news. “This has been an issue since the White House opened and John Adams began entertaining people … The temptation is just irresistible.”