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Quake-hit Christchurch cathedral to be demolished

By Anne Sewell     Mar 2, 2012 in World
Christchurch - During the 22 February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, the Christchurch Cathedral’s structure was irreparably damaged.
The earthquake was New Zealand’s worse natural disaster in 80 years and 185 people died.
According to the BBC, Anglican Bishop Victoria Matthews has said a new cathedral with a different design will be built in its place.
The cathedral, built in the late 19th Century, is a Christchurch landmark and conservationists have asked for the plan to be reconsidered. They say officials should explore more options to try and keep much of the current structure.
However the 6.3 magnitude earthquake, which leveled many buildings in the city has damaged the structure of the cathedral beyond repair. The structure was further weakened by numerous aftershocks.
No "bulldozers or wrecking balls" would be used, said Bishop Matthews and the cathedral would be deconstructed "with the utmost care and respect".
Bishop Matthews said in a statement: “We acknowledge the high level of community interest and sense of ownership as the cathedral was both an iconic building and a place of regular worship by many,"
"However, this is now a very dangerous building that needs to be made safe."
All efforts will be made to save heritage items including memorial stones and stained glass windows.
"We are now looking to the future and creating a beautiful, inspiring, safe new cathedral but we understand it will take some time for any of these decisions to be made," the bishop said.
According to Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker, the decision to demolish the cathedral was "heartbreaking" and was "not an easy decision for many of us to accept".
Memorial services for the quake victims were held on 22 February 2011, according to the BBC.
The video below, made by the Christchurch city council, shows the devastation to the cathedral and the rest of the city:
More about Christchurch, Cathedral, Demolition, New Zealand, Earthquake
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