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Philadelphia’s Constitution Center acquires Newseum’s 50-ton First Amendment marble slab

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Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center (NCC) is set to have the Newseum’s 50-ton First Amendment marble slab installed inside of its building this summer.

The slab, which has the words of the First Amendment engraved into it, will be transported to the center from Washington, D.C., within the next few weeks and will find its new home on the second floor of the NCC, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“What’s so exciting about this space where the First Amendment is going to be is that it is where we hold all of our major indoor events,” Jeffrey Rosen, NCC president and chief executive, told the Inquirer.

“The Liberty Medal is held there. President Biden was there as our chair. He spoke there,” Rosen continued. “So the First Amendment will be literally the backdrop to all of the most significant events at the Constitution Center, and people will be able to gaze at the First Amendment and then look to the right and see Independence Hall.”

The Newseum, which was an interactive museum that highlighted journalism, freedom of expression and the First Amendment, was sold to Johns Hopkins in 2019 for $372.5 million.

Hopkins plans to use the building to house some of its graduate programs.

Freedom Forum, which created and funded the museum, opted not to sell the First Amendment slab along with the building, the Inquirer noted, and instead gave it to NCC.

“It was important to us to find a location for the tablet where it could be on public display, and where millions of Americans could continue to expand their understanding of and appreciation for our First Amendment freedoms,” Freedom Forum’s CEO Jan Neuharth told the news outlet. “We are incredibly pleased that the tablet will have a prominent new home at the National Constitution Center where it can be part of their efforts to increase awareness and understanding of the Constitution.” 

Tags first amendment Joe Biden National Constitution Center Newseum

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