DENVER - Friday, the restoration project on the dome at the state Capitol took a big leap forward after being under wraps for about six months.
Workers started the process of applying brand new gold leaf to the copper plates covering the cast iron dome.
It will be only the fourth time in Capitol history that the dome is re-gilded. The last time was in 1991.
Governor John Hickenlooper said the most recent work was a sign of the state bouncing back after September's devastating floods.
"It will be as good as new and better than new, and we'll get more than 100 years," the governor said. "I think when this is all back next summer... it will be a symbol that we're back."
The project will require about 140,000 24-karat gold leaves to cover the entire dome. The leaves are very thin and measure between 1/8,000 and 1/10,000 inch thick. They're made up of about 60 ounces of gold mined from Colorado's Victor and Cripple Creek region. The gold was donated to the state by AngloGold Ashanti.
Work to restore the dome started in early 2012. Beyond re-gilding the dome, the project includes restoration and repair of the exterior painted circular drum above the Capitol's roof.
So far, the restoration is on time and under budget. It should be finished in late summer of 2014.
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