PAINT THE TOWN READ: The Lost Symbol at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.


For Robert Langdon, the Capitol Rotunda—like St. Peter’s Basilica—always had a way of taking him by surprise. Intellectually, he knew the room was so large that the Statue of Liberty could stand comfortably inside it, but somehow the Rotunda always felt larger and more hallowed than he anticipated, as if there were spirits in the air. Tonight, however, there was only chaos.

IMG_5186We arrived just in time for the last tour of the day, and I kept my eye out for The Apotheosis of Washington, hoping to get a Paint the Town Read picture with it in the background.

Unfortunately, because the Capitol Building’s dome is currently undergoing a multi-year restoration, some of the outer parts of the fresco were cut off by what our guide called ‘the doughnut’.

IMG_5187It’s also a little hard to see all the detail from the ground as the fresco is 180 feet above the rotunda floor. It wasn’t until I looked at the zoomed in images on my camera that I properly saw the detail our guide was telling us about. According to our guide, he used to have a lot of trouble getting everyone in his tours to spot Washington until he began telling them to look for ‘the guy in the pink snuggie’.

You can see more Paint the Town Read posts as they’re uploaded on my Instagram account with the hashtag #caapaintthetownread.


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