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Walsh makes use of the infamous Curley desk

When Kevin White left City Hall, so did the desk. It was found in 1997. And is now back in the mayor’s office.
When Kevin White left City Hall, so did the desk. It was found in 1997. And is now back in the mayor’s office.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

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It is the most infamous desk in Boston politics, a mahogany antique with exquisite hand-carved detail and a history as murky as the Charles River.

The desk has been celebrated, stolen, and investigated. It sparked a political firestorm, forced a former mayor to open his home and vacation cottage to a reporter, and was found after 14 years in a suburban garage, where according to legend a divorce triggered a tip to the attorney general.

It is known as the Curley desk, named after James Michael Curley, the legendary Boston politician revered as a hero and disparaged as a scoundrel. This week, the desk took its place back in the mayor’s office for the first time in perhaps 30 years, hand-chosen by Mayor Martin J. Walsh as the centerpiece of his new office.

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