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Christchurch Cathedral to be demolished

March 2, 2012

CHRISTCHURCH: The  badly damaged Christchurch Cathedral in New Zealand will be pulled down, it has been announced.

Bishop Victoria Matthews confirmed the decision for the city’s icon at a press conference on Friday afternoon in Christchurch.

The cathedral was badly damaged during last February’s earthquake which killed 185 people.

Bishop Matthews said the building would be deconstructed down to a level of two to three metres so heritage items could be removed and stored until decisions about a new cathedral were confirmed.

“There will be no bulldozers or wrecking balls, on the job,” she said.

“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.”

“Our priority is also to ensure people working on-site are safe – in fact if anyone had been in the building on December 23 [when an aftershock hit] they would have been put at a great risk of serious injury or worse.”

“We are also mindful that since December 23, the context of our decision making has changed given the further deterioration of the building and the risk of further seismic events, according to the geotechnical experts.”



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