(Reuters) - Officials renovating Boston's historic Old State House are debating how to remove a 113-year-old time capsule hidden in a statue of a lion overlooking the balcony from which the Declaration of Independence was read in 1776.
The box, located by a fiber-optic camera threaded in through a small hole in the lion sculpture on the roof of the 301-year-old building, matches the description of a capsule described in a 1901 Boston Daily Globe article, Heather Leet, director of development for the Bostonian Society, which maintains the building, said on Thursday.
"We learned of the time capsule several years ago when a descendant of one of the original sculptors of the statues sent us a letter from her ancestor discussing the time capsule and listing its contents," Leet said. "We are determining the best way to retrieve the time capsule without damaging the lion."
A Feb. 24, 1901, article in the Daily Globe described the box as being made of copper and contained letters from elected officials of the time, as well as buttons from the presidential campaigns of William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.
The red-brick, white-steepled building, located in the heart of downtown Boston, was near the site of the 1770 Boston Massacre, which set the 13 colonies on the path to revolution and is a common stop for tourists visiting Boston.
Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Peter Cooney