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Volkswagen Gives $10 Million For National Mall Restoration Efforts

The renovation of the National Mall will be funded in part by a $10 million donation from Volkswagen.
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The renovation of the National Mall will be funded in part by a $10 million donation from Volkswagen.

A German carmaker is handing over a $10 million gift to help restore parts of the National Mall.

Volkswagen of America is giving the money to the nonprofit Trust for the National Mall, which has planned ambitious renovations including the building of lakeside gardens, grassy amphitheatres and restaurants with views of the memorials. 

Volkswagen of America CEO Jonathan Browning says he was shocked to see the poor conditions around the Jefferson Memorial, which included dead grass and cracked sidewalks. Part of the ongoing problem is that the National Mall wasn't designed to accomodate the number of visitors it receives each year; more people visit the Mall annually than Yosemite, the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone combined.

Volkswagen's donation is the largest private gift ever given for restoration on the Mall, though in January 2012 philanthropist David Rubenstein gave $7.5 million to start repairs on the Washington Monument, which was damaged by an August 2011 earthquake.

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