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Big Ben

Big Ben
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Every five years or so, crew members scale the 316-foot-tall clock to scrub its four timepieces, each containing 312 pieces of opal glass. And time doesn’t stop: Workers dodge the moving minute and hour hands, which measure nearly 4.2 metres and 2.7 metres long, respectively! The next scheduled cleaning is in the early 2020s.

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Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial
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Twice a year, Honest Abe gets blasted with a powerful pressure washer. (Did you know there’s a typo on the Lincoln Memorial?) National Park Service workers then use massive makeshift cotton swabs to clean bugs and bird droppings from his ears.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower
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It takes 10,000 doses of cleaning product, four tons of cleaning rags, and 25,000 trash bags to polish the Parisian landmark. Workers do it once a year.

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Acropolis Hill sculptures

Acropolis Hill sculptures
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In 2008, scientists set out to find the safest way to swab the 2,500-year-old marble statues. After testing 40 methods, they determined the winning technique was a combination of infrared lasers and ultraviolet rays. But the cleaning can be a dangerous job: Restorers wear goggles and operate the lasers for only two hours a day.

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty
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Lady Liberty has dodged bath time for a while now– curators haven’t cleaned her exterior in years because infrequent cleaning aids in her preservation. The inside gets scrubbed frequently, however, which is how the statue developed “birthmarks” – an acidic solution leaked through the inside wall and stained her cheek in 1986.

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The Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain
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For decades, tourists have tossed coins into Rome’s Trevi Fountain to ensure a return trip to the city – and they’re not inclined to stop on the days the fountain’s being cleaned. In order to restore the Baroque monument in 2014, a temporary bridge had to be built so visitors could get a good look at the fountain’s sculptures and toss coins into a basin in front of it. Those who didn’t want to wait in line could toss a coin into a mini replica of the fountain, which was also constructed to satisfy visitors during the yearlong restoration.

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Source: rd.com

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