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Ancient Carthaginian Column Repaired, Returned to Vanderbilt

Repaired column lowered onto its new base
Vanderbilt Museum photo

An ancient column from Carthage (modern-day Tunisia), toppled and broken during a fierce windstorm on October 30, 2017, has been repaired and reinstalled at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum. The company that repaired the two-ton column reinstalled it recently on a new, reinforced concrete base.

The stately, thousand-year-old column, one of six near the entrance to the Vanderbilt Estate, was damaged when the storm uprooted a massive tree next to it.

The falling tree knocked down the column, which hit the curving stone wall that overlooks the Vanderbilt Boathouse and Northport Bay. The impact broke off the carved top or capital.

Experts from the A. Ottavino Corp. used a crane to lift the column onto a large flat-bed truck and took it to their stoneworks in Ozone Park, N.Y, for repair.

Ottavino, a third-generation family business founded in 1913, has worked on significant projects that include the Statue of Liberty, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the main branch of the New York Public Library, Columbia University Medical Center, and Brooklyn Borough Hall.

Each column is 14 feet high, 59 inches in circumference, and weighs 4,000 pounds. The Cipollino marble was quarried on the Greek island of Euboea. Sometime after William K. Vanderbilt II (1878-1944) began building Eagle’s Nest, his Centerport estate and the home of the Vanderbilt Museum, he relocated the columns from his first Long Island home, Deepdale, in Lake Success.

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