This all started about a year ago? When it was decided to replace the current tomb because of cracks. They found a block, cut it out and found it wasn't good enough. So they kept on looking, but it's been a while since I've heard anything about it, however this article appeared in Friday's edition of the Aspen Daily News. There is no direct link to the article so I posted the whole thing.
Here's the article from Friday's Aspen Daily News:
New marble found for Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
From The Associated Press
MARBLE – The Colorado quarry that supplied the original white marble for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has found another block that may be suitable to replace the cracked memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.
The 118,000-pound block has been cut from the Yule Marble Quarry, about 100 miles southwest of Denver, but what happens next is up in the air because of government purchasing rules and questions over whether the tomb should be replaced or repaired.
A 1990 study recommended replacing the tomb because of two horizontal cracks that first appeared in the 1940s and then spread.
But the Virginia Historical Society – which has some say over the tomb because the cemetery is in that state – and national historic preservation societies still haven’t determined whether replacing old marble would violate preservation rules.
‘‘If a headstone cracks we replace it,’’ said Lori Calvillo, public affairs officer for the cemetery. ‘‘But it’s no longer that easy.’’
While awaiting a final decision on replacement or repair, the cemetery has been searching for new marble. Another block was cut from the Yule quarry in 2003, but flaws were discovered that made it unsuitable.
Retired Glenwood Springs car dealer John Haines has offered to pay up to $30,000 for the new stone, which would be donated to the nation on behalf of the people of Colorado. But the cemetery is required by law to seek bids from other quarries and companies that can carve a new tomb matching the old one.
Rex Loesby, the former owner of the quarry and now a consultant to the current owners, said the bid specifications call for marble that matches the original as closely as possible, bright white and gold-veined.
‘‘But it’s not a sure thing we will supply it,’’ he said.
The tomb is made from seven pieces of marble, all quarried in Colorado and weighing a combined 79 tons. It was completed in 1932 at a cost of $48,000.
It honors troops killed in America’s wars whose bodies were never identified. It is guarded around-the-clock by soldiers of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment.
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I have known Rex for a few years now. He told me they are looking for two blocks as a back up. They will play hell trying to find another quarry to match Yule Marble.
Go down to Home Depot and order Italian Marble tiles. Odds are, they were mined in CO, processed in Italy and sent back.