$435m Newseum gathering the sometimes hazardous history of newsgathering

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WASHINGTON —- Time magazine’s armored truck from the Balkans, pockmarked with bullet holes, has been hoisted into place. The laptop used by Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter murdered in Pakistan in 2002, has arrived. So has the vest that Bob Woodruff of ABC was wearing last year when he was wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq.

These stark reminders of the hazards of newsgathering will be displayed at the new Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue, scheduled to open on Oct. 15.

Cranes still hover over its steel-and-glass structure, but workers have now installed the facade’s showstopper —- a 50-ton, 74-foot-high marble engraved with the First Amendment —- and are preparing the exhibitions.

Slowly, the Newseum —- a bigger, more dramatic, higher-tech reinvention of of the former Newseum in Arlington, Va. —- is taking shape. More than six years in the making and costing $435 million, it may be one of the world’s most expensive museums now under construction. It is certainly among the most prominent, perched on the last buildable site on the presidential inaugural parade route between the Capitol and the White House...

Peter S. Prichard, president of the Newseum and a former editor in chief of USA Today, said that the original Newseum, which opened in 1997, drew 2.2 million visitors over its five years. ''It was like a pilot project,'' he said. ''We got to see what worked and what didn’t, and we saved all the comment cards.''

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