USS Monitor work goes dark as US dollars dwindle

FILE - In this Monday Aug. 5, 2002 file photo, the turret of the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor is lifted out of the ocean off the coast of Hatteras, N.C. Diminishing federal dollars have darkened a lab containing the turret and other large pieces, closing to the public a window on the nation’s maritime history and delaying possibly by decades their public display. The museum has seen a steady decline in annual funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration amid budget cuts and shifting federal priorities.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
FILE - In this Monday Aug. 5, 2002 file photo, the turret of the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor is lifted out of the ocean off the coast of Hatteras, N.C. Diminishing federal dollars have darkened a lab containing the turret and other large pieces, closing to the public a window on the nation’s maritime history and delaying possibly by decades their public display. The museum has seen a steady decline in annual funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration amid budget cuts and shifting federal priorities. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) – When the turret of the USS Monitor was hoisted from the ocean floor in 2002, the real heavy lifting was just beginning.

That would be conserving and restoring more than 200 tons of Civil War ironclad artifacts. The task went to The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News.

But diminishing federal dollars have darkened a lab containing the revolving turret and other large pieces, closing to the public a window on the nation’s maritime history and delaying possibly by decades their public display.

The museum has seen a steady decline in annual funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration amid budget cuts and shifting federal priorities.

Museum officials say the funding decline has slowed conservation work on the turret and other artifacts. They say they are not at risk.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s