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Puglisi put the property on the market in 2007 for $39 million but found no takers.

The buyer, Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund, is affiliated with Kissito Healthcare Inc., a nonprofit charity based in Roanoke. The purchase was supported by state loans through the Department of Environmental Quality.

In a statement, Joe Elton, the interim director of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, said Americans should be grateful to Puglisi and others who worked to seal the complicated sale.

“One of our nation’s most iconic natural landscapes is now protected in perpetuity,” Elton said.

Natural Bridge is designated a National Historic Landmark.

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Steve Szkotak can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sszkotakap.

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Online:

Natural Bridge: http://www.naturalbridgeva.com/