Billionaire Pays to Fix Washington Monument

David Rubenstein chips in $7.5M
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2012 8:33 AM CST
Billionaire Pays to Fix Washington Monument
Engineers suspended by ropes conduct a block-by-block inspection of the Washington Monument exterior in Washington, DC, on October 3, 2011.   (Getty Images/AFP)

Billionaire history buff and Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein has agreed to chip in $7.5 million to help repair the damage the Washington Monument suffered in the August earthquake that shook the region. Congress had already allocated $7.5 million to the task, and expected an equal amount to be raised privately, the AP explains; Rubenstein says he felt inspired to pick up the entire remaining tab "as a good citizen."

"What greater symbol is there in Washington of our country?" reflects Rubenstein, who last month donated $4.5 million to save the National Zoo's giant panda program, and earlier last year gave $13.5 million to the National Archives (which next month will debut a $21 million copy of the Magna Carta purchased by, yep, Rubenstein). "I am committed to philanthropy," he tells the Washington Post. And public-private partnerships like this one "are a good thing ... because the government doesn't have all the money that it used to have." (More David Rubenstein stories.)

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