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Scaffolding at Washington Monument gives Interior secretary, donor 1st look at damage, repairs

Most birds don't fly high enough to see the top of the Washington Monument, though that didn't stop four people from clipping themselves into harnesses and climbing to the tip to see the obelisk's cracked stones.

Businessman David Rubenstein, who gave $7.5 million to repair the 555-foot-tall monument, prayed the ground wouldn't shake as they examined damage from a 2011 earthquake. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell joined in reviewing the damage and gave Rubenstein a high-five at the top.

The Associated Press also had a look at some of the worst damage 500 feet above the ground.

Stone by stone, engineers are reviewing cracks, missing chunks and broken mortar on the monument now that huge scaffolding has been built around the towering symbol of the nation's capital. Repairs will begin soon.

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