$12.3M gift to help restore Robert E. Lee's home

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By BRETT ZONGKER

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - A historic house and plantation that was home to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and 63 slaves will be restored to its historical appearance after a $12.3 million gift.

Philanthropist David Rubenstein said Thursday that he is giving the National Park Foundation the funds needed for a full restoration of the historic house, originally built as a monument to George Washington overlooking the nation's capital, and its grounds and slave quarters as they appeared in 1860. He says the site crowns the most sacred land in the country, Arlington National Cemetery.

National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis says the 200-year-old house symbolizes U.S. reconciliation after the Civil War but is in poor condition. The roof leaks, and the climate control system is so unstable some artwork can't be displayed.

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