The Washington Post

What’s going on at the top of the U.S. Capitol?

If you've walked around Capitol Hill recently, you may have heard someone ask: “What are they doing to the big statue up there?”

The renovation of the statue on top of the U.S. Capitol dome, pictured last week, is a regularly-scheduled occurrence. (John Kelly/THE WASHINGTON POST)

The 14,985-pound statue, named Freedom, needs to be cleaned and polished every few years.

“We do regular preservation work every four to five years,” according to Eva Malecki of the Architect of the Capitol’s office, who talks to The Post’s John Kelly for his Sunday Answer Man column. “So this is our regularly scheduled maintenance. She’s made of bronze, and when you have bronze out in the elements, you can expect a little rusting and pitting, from hail or other things that strike her. She does get hit by lightning.”

But the statue’s refurbishment is just one of several components they’re fixing at the top of the Capitol. Read what else they’re doing by reading John’s full column here.

Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.


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