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Washington Monument to reopen in May

The remaining scaffolding around the monument will be taken down this week.
The Washington Monument reigns as both the world's tallest stone structure and the world's tallest obelisk.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) – After more than two years, the Washington Monument will reopen to the public on May 12.

The National Park Service announced that the remaining scaffolding around the monument will be taken down this week. The scaffolding was put in place following damage from a 5.8 magnitude earthquake in 2011. There were more than 100 cracks in the monument.

RELATED STORY: 1-year anniversary of earthquake

The National Park Service and the Trust for the National Mall will host a re-opening ceremony at 10 a.m. May 12. Officials say details about the ceremony will be released at a later date.

Public tours that day will begin at 1:00 p.m., according to Park Service officials. The tickets will be available on a first come-first-served basis starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Washington Monument Lodge on 15th Street.

Officials tell us tickets for tours on May 13 and future dates will be available at www.recreation.gov starting on April 16.

David Rubenstein matched the $7.5 million in public funds allocated by Congress for the monument's restoration. National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said in a written statement on Tuesday, "We are grateful for David Rubenstein's generous donation that funded half of the $15 million repair bill. David's support of the national parks and the work of the National Park Service sets a high standard for park philanthropy nationwide and is appreciated by every visitor who will learn something about President Washington or simply enjoy the view from the top."

Officials say once it reopens to the public that the monument will be open from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. until the end of summer.