Monday, March 1, 1999 Published at 12:45 GMT
Reagan for Rushmore
Mount Rushmore: A monument to American pride
The four famous faces of Mount Rushmore could be joined by a fifth under a plan to add former president Ronald Reagan to the giant sculpture.
But opponents say the addition would damage the rockface and destroy a great work of art.
Mount Rushmore features the heads of four presidents - George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.
Sculptor Gutzon Borglum began his monument to American history in 1927. It took another 14 years to complete with workmen having to blast through 100 foot of rock.
A great president
Republican Congressman Matt Salmon, who is backing the proposal, says Mr Reagan should be added because he gave Americans faith in the future.
But park rangers say there is no room for another head and the addition would endanger the already fragile structure.
Former head of maintenance Eugene Koeving, who knew Mr Borglum, says Mr Reagan's face would also destroy the monument's artistic value.
''Would you take some of Michaelangelo's work and add to it?
''This is one of the most beautiful pieces of artwork in the world, and to go ahead now and change it from the original carving would absolutely desecrate it,'' he added.
BBC Washington Correspondent Philippa Thomas says congressmen are unlikely to approve the plan.
Previous suggestions to add John F Kennedy and Elvis Presley have got short shrift.
It seems Mr Reagan will have to console himself with other memorials in his name - a motorway, an airport and an office development.