When the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened in 1880 on the east side of New York City’s Central Park, it was given an endowment to fund a collection of plaster casts molded from original sculptures in the great museums of Europe. The Metropolitan assembled a superb collection of 2,600 plaster casts, most of them made between 1880 and 1900. After that, however, Metropolitan Museum curators spent more and more money on acquiring original works of art, resulting in the declined interest in plaster. By 1930, the plaster casts had been placed in storage. In 2003, a selection of these casts arrived at George Mason University on long-term loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Two more shipments arrived in 2005, bringing the total number of casts at GMU to more than 60. The casts are to be gifts from the MET. They have undergone cleaning and restoration, and they are installed in buildings on the campus.