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Washington Monument Gets $7.5M Donation For Repairs

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Crews inspect damage to the Washington Monument in September. 
Armando Trull
Crews inspect damage to the Washington Monument in September. 

David Rubenstein, billionaire history buff and co-founder of the private equity firm the Carlyle Group, is offering to help repair earthquake damage to the Washington Monument, according to Associated Press.

The Washington Monument is an iconic symbol of the nation's capital, a gleaming white marble obelisk that towers over the skyline on the National Mall. But it's been closed since August after last summer's earthquake, due to cracks that were discovered in the top of the structure.

It's expected to cost $15 million to repair the damage, and Congress provided $7.5 million in public funding for the work late last year, adding that the remainder of the money would have to be raised from a private donor.

Rubenstein has pledged the $7.5 million to speed along repairs. Rubenstein recently pledged $4.5 million to the panda program at the National Zoo, and has also made significant gifts to the National Archives. 

"America has been very good to me," says Rubenstein. "I am humbled to be able to honor the father of their country in this way."

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