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Dick Cheney to Return to Capitol -- in Stone

Former Vice President Dick Cheney heading to the weekly Senate Republican Policy Luncheon in 2008. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Dick Cheney returns to the Capitol next Thursday -- and this time, it's for good.  

A bust of the 46th vice president, who served under George W. Bush, will join 44 others in the Senate's vice presidential collection on Dec. 3. Cheney and his wife, Lynne, will be in attendance.  

The cost of the bust, crafted by sculptor William Behrends of Tryon, N.C., is being kept quiet until the contract is finalized sometime next week. But Rules and Administration Committee staff told Roll Call the cost will be consistent with others in the collection, noting Dan Quayle's bust cost approximately $50,000. Behrends, who also sculpted the bust of Richard Nixon's vice president, Spiro Agnew, is skilled in sculpting marble in traditional techniques, preferring a hammer and chisel over a laser.  

The bust of Al Gore, Bill Clinton's vice president, will also be carved by Behrends. Along with Cheney, Gore is the only former vice president not currently in the collection.  

Behrends' portfolio includes a bronze bust of Andrew Johnson at the Tennessee state Capitol building, a statue of Henry Ford II in Detroit and a seven-foot bronze statue of golfer Ben Hogan at the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame, according to the Senate website.  

Motorsport.com reports that Behrends has carved into the Borg-Warner Trophy the face of every winner of the Indianapolis 500 since 1989.  

The collection, scattered throughout the second and third floors of the Senate, honors the former vice presidents for their constitutional role as presidents of the Senate.  

In 1885, the Senate commissioned the first bust, of Henry Wilson, who served under Ulysses S. Grant, and placed it adjacent to the Senate chamber in the Vice President's Room. Ten years earlier, Wilson had died in that room following a stroke.  

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