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美国给总统雕像“洗脸”

2005-07-12 17:57

  

  Knut Foppe, left, Darin Oestmann, center, with the National Park Service and Thorsten Mowes, right, rappel a scuplture of Thomas Jefferson's face to begin power washing Mount Rushmore National Monument, Thursday, July 7, 2005, near Keystone, S.D.

  After more than 60 years of being exposed to the elements, the presidents of Mount Rushmore are getting a facial.

  Park rangers armed with hand-held power washers begin rappelling down the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln on Saturday to blast away the dirt, grime and lichen that has collected on the granite surfaces.

  Lichen eats away at granite and over time can cause cracks and pockmarks. If left for long enough, they could eventually cause the 60-foot tall (18 meter) statue to crumble.

  "This is the first time the faces have been washed," said Judy Olson, Mount Rushmore's chief interpreter.

  "To the ordinary visitor who comes to Mount Rushmore they probably won't notice a difference, but the lichen have been growing and invading the rocks and this high pressure very hot water will get rid of them."

  Olson said the National Park Service has been wanting to do something about the lichen for several years but didn't have the expertise or room in the budget to hire someone.

  Rangers armed with silicon putty check the sculpture for cracks every fall but were unable to chip away at the black and green lichen that was spreading across the surface.

  Then a German cleaning equipment company offered to foot the bill and train the rangers.

  Alfred Karcher GmbH and Co. has cleaned a number of monuments, including the Statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and the Statue of Liberty in New York.

  The project is expected to take three to four weeks.

  Construction on the South Dakota monument began in 1927 with the face of George Washington. Designed by Gutzon Borglum, 90 percent of the 500-foot-wide sculpture was carved using dynamite. It was completed in 1941, seven months after Borglum died.

  More than 2 million people visit the monument every year.

  在经过60多年的风吹日晒之后,美国“总统山”上的总统们要“洗洗脸”了。

  上周六(7月9日),装备有手持电动洗涤器的公园管理员开始沿着总统们的面部自上而下清洗堆积在花岗岩表面的污垢、砂粒和苔藓。这四位总统分别是:乔治·华盛顿、托马斯·杰佛逊、西奥多·罗斯福和亚伯拉罕·林肯。

  苔藓会侵蚀花岗岩,而且随着时间的推移,这些苔藓会使岩石产生裂缝和凹痕。如果长时间不加清理的话,它们最终会把这座高60英尺(约合18米)的宏伟雕像变成碎片。

  “这是这些总统雕像第一次接受面部清洗”,“总统山”的首席讲解员朱蒂·奥尔森说。

  “来总统山参观的普通游客可能看不出其中的细微差别,但是苔藓一直在生长并逐渐侵蚀岩石,而这种高压高温的水可以清除它们。”

  奥尔森说,数年来国家公园管理局一直都想清理掉这些苔藓,但是,由于不具备相应的技术,也没有充足的预算资金来雇用工人,只好作罢。

  每年秋天,公园管理员都会用硅腻子检查雕像的裂缝,却不能清除掉蔓延覆盖在总统面部的黑色和绿色苔藓。

  后来,一家德国清洗设备公司表示愿意支付清洗费用,并培训公园管理员。

  阿尔弗雷德凯驰清洁设备股份有限公司曾为世界上许多著名建筑物做过清理,包括巴西里约热内卢的基督像、德国柏林的勃兰登堡大门以及美国纽约的自由女神像等。

  整个工程预计将耗时3至4个星期。

  位于美国南达科他州的“总统山”于1927年动土,首先雕刻的是乔治·华盛顿的头像。“总统山”是由古特隆·博格勒精心设计的。整座雕像宽约500英尺,90%的雕像都是先用炸药炸开山峰再进行雕刻而成的。这一工程于1941年完工,但就在完工前7个月,博格勒不幸逝世。

  现在,每年前来“总统山”参观的游客人数超过200万。

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