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Washington Monument Cornerstone Almost Complete

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Work is concluding on the rehabilitation of the Washington Monument in Mt. Vernon downtown.

Now, as Mike Schuh reports, the soon-to-be-sealed cornerstone will contain some high-tech trinkets.

It was the first in the country and, 200 years ago on the Fourth of July and five feet underground, a hollow stone was set in place.

Later this spring, those doing the rehab of the monument are going to show you what was inside the cornerstone but those in charge had to figure out what to put in it before it was sealed up.

Historian Lance Humphries accepted the challenge.

"It's a pretty awesome responsibility when you think about it. We don't have a lot of time since the cornerstone was discovered. It needs to go back in the ground this week so we can continue," he said.

He had special items made. They look like metal but it's actually plastic. They're exact copies in reduced size and were made from a scan of George Washington. It's of his bust and face and his hand is holding his resignation from the army.

"So we're leaving a likeness from our time. This is the latest technology from our time, to scan something in 3D and to print it in 3D," he said.

Crafted so future generations hundreds of years from now could replicate George Washington, should the stone high above deteriorate or be destroyed.

"That's why we're leaving a scale of the full statue," he said.

These are fascinating and there is talk about recreating more of these in metal to sell to raise funds so the monument remains sound.

"We hope he lasts another 300-500 years but who knows? We have no idea what the future holds," he said.

The restoration of the monument has cost over $5 million.

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