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Experts open time capsule found at Richmond Robert E. Lee statue site

The development marks the latest turn in a months-long search for a capsule that news accounts said was placed in 1887.

RICHMOND, Va. — Conservation experts in Virginia’s capital have pulled books, coins, ammunition, documents, and other artifacts from a time capsule found in the remnants of a pedestal that once held a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Tuesday’s opening of the aged copper box appeared to mark the end of a long search for the elusive 1887 time capsule. 

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said crews wrapping up the removal of the giant pedestal found the long-sought-after time capsule a day earlier.

He tweeted photos of a box being removed from the Richmond site Monday and said conservators were studying the artifact.

The lead conservator for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Kate Ridgway, said that the measurements and material, copper, match historical accounts.

"It was found in a pool of water, so we had concerns that water had gotten inside," Ridgway said.

Ridgway noted that some items were more waterlogged than they would have hoped for, but they're thankful because it "could have been worse."

The artifacts will remain in Richmond until they're restored and stabilized. 

An earlier time capsule found at the site and opened last week turned out to be a different one.

According to state officials, the artifacts recovered are now property of the Commonwealth of Virginia until their final owners are determined. 

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