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Quake-hit Christchurch cathedral to be demolished

Church officials have today confirmed their decision to demolish New Zealand’s Christchurch cathedral after the 2011 earthquake left it in a state of disrepair.

The 19th century cathedral has deteriorated since the initial damage from the 6.3 magnitude quake on 22 February. In addition, the cost of restoration and a vast shortfall in insurance money. Both factors led to the demolition decision, said a statement.

The cathedral will be deconstructed down to a level of approximately 2m to 3m to meet safety requirements and allow the retrieval of taonga and heritage items which can then be stored and protected until decisions about a new Cathedral are made.

A replica Cathedral has been ruled out due to an estimated NZ$100M (£52M) shortfall, while a new build incorporating some of the old would incur a shortfall of up to £26M.

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