The Oldest Profession Gets a New Museum

A retired prostitute inflames the locals by restoring a 19th century brothel

I loved being a whore, and that offends people." Norma Jean Almodovar, 49, head of the International Sex Workers Foundation for Art, Culture and Education, has made a career from such bluster. But being an activist for prostitutes is less lucrative than her previous job--impersonating a bawdy Julia Child for her johns. (That was one specialty.)

It's also more controversial here in Butte, Mont., where Almodovar has been trying to rustle up the funds to fully restore the Dumas, a former brothel that opened in 1890. After seeing Almodovar on a talk show in 1998, Butte businessman Rudy Giecek, 57, who...

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