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World Monuments Fund to Address Arch Corrosion

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Visitors leave the south entrance to the Gateway Arch after discovering the monument is closed in St. Louis on October 1, 2013. The Arch and other National Parks throughout the United States are closed due to the federal government shutdown. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Visitors leave the south entrance to the Gateway Arch after discovering the monument is closed in St. Louis on October 1, 2013. The Arch and other National Parks throughout the United States are closed due to the federal government shutdown. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Help may be on the way from a worldwide organization to assist with mysterious corrosion on the Gateway Arch.

The World Monuments Fund announced recently it will try to help refurbish 67 “endangered” monuments or sites in 41 countries and territories. The Arch was one of five American monuments on the list.

WMF spokesman Frank Sanchis says what is puzzling is that although the strange corrosion can be seen on many parts of the Arch, not all of the monument is built the same.

“Inside the Arch, on the bottom, behind the stainless steel, there’s a lot of concrete. Up on the top there is none, it is all steel,” he explained. “They really don’t know what the interaction of the various metals is, including the welds that hold the pieces of stainless steel together. They don’t know what’s going on up there at the top and that’s what we want to help them with.”

The National Park Service is asking the organization for $400,000 but some of that will have to be public and/or private money. Sanchis says the Park Service wants help to inspect upper sections of the Arch which have been inaccessible.

“This is important enough of an issue at one of our major national monuments that we want to step up to the plate and see what we can do to help address it,” Sanchis added.

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