Digital Insurance For Lady Liberty

In this file photo from Sept. 12, 2001, the Statue of Liberty stands in the early morning light in New York Harbor as smoke continues to rise from what is left of the World Trade Center towers in this view from Jersey City, N.J. AP (file)

A team of architecture experts say their digitized model of the Statue of Liberty could be used to rebuild the national landmark if it is damaged or destroyed in a terrorist attack.

Using a high-tech laser scanner to measure its surface from all angles, the team from Texas Tech University has been working for nearly two years to create computerized, three-dimensional drawings of the monument.

Officials with the National Park Service, which administers the statue and Mount Rushmore, called on the team to create the model it says could help create an accurate replica if any section of it were ever destroyed, the Daily News reported in its Sunday editions.

"Until Sept. 11, the only time we ever faced battles on our soil was in the Civil War, so most of our preparations, historically, were for natural disasters," said John Burns, deputy director of the Park Service's documentary division.

"Since we now face threats to the touchstones of our heritage, our history and our civilization, we are also now looking at new possibilities in terms of reconstruction," he said.

A copy of the map will be placed in the Library of Congress. Additional copies will be stored in the National Archives and a government vault at an undisclosed location.

Mount Rushmore has also been scanned into three-dimensional images, and the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., underwent computer scanning in the days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Daily News reported.

  • Francie Grace

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