Scottish laser pioneers lead way in preserving Mount Rushmore

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British scientists are to begin work on a revolutionary project to record three-dimensional models of world heritage sites so that they can be re-created if they fall victim to climate change, natural disaster, war or terrorism.

The team of six – from Historic Scotland and the Glasgow School of Art – will team up next month with an American company, CyArk, to shoot laser beams at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, creating a 3D model accurate to within 3mm, digitally preserving the carved faces of former presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln should archaeologists need to repair them.

Funding for the project was rushed through because of concerns over the deterioration of the granite rockface.

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