AUGUSTA – Maine lawmakers are leaving a time capsule under the new copper sheath of the Statehouse dome.

A bipartisan group of legislative leaders walked up the scaffolding on Tuesday and placed several items into a copper box marked with the state’s motto, “Dirigo 2014.” The box was then put into the side of the dome and sealed shut.

The items include a gavel from the speaker of the House, letters lawmakers wrote to future Mainers, a piece of the old green copper removed from the dome and a copy of Tuesday’s Kennebec Journal.

The Legislative Council on Tuesday also approved a plan to buy back most of the 7,000 square feet of old copper from the contractor so that it can be sold to artists and jewelers and made into souvenirs.

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