COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- The original tombstone of former President Thomas Jefferson has been stored for nearly 130 years at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Now the marble slab will be removed for about a year to be restored by a laboratory that serves the Smithsonian Institution.
Jefferson’s tombstone originally was at his Virginia home of Monticello, but it was shipped to Missouri after being damaged by souvenir seekers and replaced with a larger replica. The tombstone was dedicated in 1885 at the University of Missouri, which was the first public university in the Louisiana Purchase Territory.
The restoration project will be led by Carol Grissom of the Museum Conservation Institute. Grissom says the top one-eighth of an inch on Jefferson’s tombstone plaque is separating in places, and the corners also seem to be disintegrating.