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Ali takes advance tour of museum exhibits

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LOUISVILLE, Kentucky, Nov 18 (AFP) - Muhammad Ali took an advance tour of the new center that bears his name here Friday, the legendary boxer reviewing exhibits at his hometown museum detailing his life's journey and achievements.

The 75 million-dollar Muhammad Ali Center will open Monday to the public. Ali is scheduled to attend a dedication ceremony to be conducted Sunday and a private dinner for celebrities and donors to the project on Saturday.

Singer Kris Kristofferson and Ali's wife Lonnie escorted the 63-year-old icon through the displays, the famed fighter struggling to walk and not speaking due to Parkinson's disease.

Ali struck a fighter's pose, fists clenched, three times during a 10-minute portion of the tour viewed by photographers and reporters, viewing images of his younger days in a "Welcome Home Ali" section of the museum.

Clad in an orange shirt, Ali still commanded attention and drew applause as he shuffled through the halls of the center, to which construction workers were still putting the final touches.

Former US President Bill Clinton, former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis of Britain, actor Jim Carrey and actress Angelina Jolie are among those expected at Saturday's tribute to Ali.



COPYRIGHT 2005 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved.

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