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WASHINGTON: A lipstick pistol, a button-hole camera, a lethal umbrella and an authentic waterboarding table: The espionage world's heroic, ingenious and sordid sides are all on show in Washington's all-new, much-expanded International Spy Museum.Relocated in a gleaming new steel and glass building double the size of its former premises, the Spy Museum still amazes and charms with the tales and gadgets of the undercover world going back centuries.The new premises opens officially Sunday, just ahead of the summer tourist season.There are gadgets galore: a pregnant woman disguise from the CIA and a suicide needle hidden in a silver dollar coin, for use by Francis Gary Powers, the U2 spy plane pilot shot down by the Soviet Union in 1960 .There are historical encryption machines, including Germany's Enigma, and a display on the microdot technology central to spying for decades last century.The museum has its roots in the 7,000-piece collection of Melton, a navy veteran and engineer who, beginning in the 1960s traveled the world to amass.Melton is hugely proud of the new museum, but somewhat wistful about the new digital age, in which computer technology has replaced many espionage tools.
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