- Associated Press - Friday, January 30, 2015

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Work is progressing on the University of Virginia’s Rotunda, with workers removing the old, weathered column capitals.

Capitals are the uppermost, load-bearing portion of a column. Their replacements were carved in Italy from Carrara marble, famous for its blue-gray hue. They will be installed in February.

The old capitals were installed after an 1895 fire that heavily damaged the Rotunda. They are disintegrating and have been shrouded in black mesh for the past five years to keep crumbling pieces of marble from falling on passers-by.

The work is part of a $50 million renovation to the centerpiece of U.Va.’s grounds in Charlottesville. The renovation will upgrade all the mechanical systems in the building and improve access, among other work. The renovations are scheduled to be complete by mid-summer 2016.

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