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Santa Barbara Maritime Museum working to restore history

Inside the walls of the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum there’s a new source of light that will soon be on display.

The lens from the Point Conception lighthouse has made it’s way down the coast and is in the middle of a major restoration project.

“This lighthouse lens was built in Paris in 1854, shipped around Cape Horn to San Francisco, then brought down and installed in the lighthouse that was built in 1854 at Point Conception,” said museum executive director Greg Gorga.

Disassembled in 16 different section and nearly 1,000 pieces the 160-year-old lens is being buffed, scrapped and polished by five men called lampists.

The men do there work by hand and without a manual or guide. The tedious job will take about three weeks to complete and when done the two-story-high lens will be the centerpiece exhibit for the museum.

The museum is also trying to raise $500,000 to make sure the lens continues to shine. To donate or see the work being done by the lampists, visit the Maritime Museum at 113 Harbor Way, Santa Barbara, CA 93109.

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