Mariners’ Museum resumes USS Monitor conservation

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) — The Mariners’ Museum has resumed work to conserve and restore the USS Monitor’s turrent and other large artifacts from the Civil War ironclad.

The work is being done in the museum’s wet lab. The lab closed in January because of a shortfall in federal funding.

The museum says in a news release that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has committed $200,000 for the work after receiving its fiscal year 2014 appropriation. The museum and the federal agency are working to develop a long-term solution that would be based on a mixture of private and public funding.

Congress designated the private museum as the official repository of artifacts from the Monitor.

The Monitor sank off in rough seas off North Carolina’s coast on New Year’s Eve 1862.

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