A 50-ton marble slab of the First Amendment is leaving Washington, D.C., for its new home in Philadelphia.
The tablet, which is engraved with the text of the First Amendment and once adorned the façade of the now-defunct Newseum, will be displayed at the National Constitution Center in Old City, overlooking Independence Mall.
“It’s so meaningful to bring the text of the First Amendment to Philadelphia, in a majestic space overlooking Independence Hall, where the original Constitution was drafted, as a permanent monument to the five freedoms of speech, press, religion, assembly, and petition,” National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen said in a statement.
The slab, which was formerly displayed vertically along four stories at the entrance of the Newseum, will be removed from its current D.C. location in sections and be transported to Philadelphia over several months. It will be reconfigured and placed along a 100-foot-wide wall in the National Constitution Center’s second-floor Grand Hall Overlook atrium.
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The Newseum, dedicated to journalism, the First Amendment and the free press, closed in late 2019 after years of financial struggles.
The First Amendment slab heading to Philadelphia is being given as a gift by the Freedom Forum, the Newseum’s primary founder and creator.