Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Canterbury Tapes

One of the 20th century's marvels comes to the aid of one of the 12th's:

Canterbury Cathedral is falling apart at the seams, with chunks of masonry dropping off its walls and a fifth of its internal marble pillars held together by duct tape.

.... The cathedral, the mother church of worldwide Anglicanism which was founded in 597 by St Augustine, was the scene of the murder of Thomas Becket in 1170 and has survived extensive bombing of the city during the Second World War.

.... Masons had to "sweep" the exterior walls to remove chunks of wall that were threatening to fall off, and pieces of stone had become dislodged from the towers and fallen on to the roof,...

Heather Newton, the head of stone conservation, said that 20 per cent of the hundreds of 12th century Purbeck marble pillars that line the interior walls of the cathedral were bound with tape to prevent them crumbling.

....The cathedral hopes that it can appeal to Anglicans and wealthy benefactors worldwide, and is to open offices in North America and Asia.

The dean, the Very Rev Robert Willis, said that all avenues of fundraising would be considered, though suggestions that the cathedral could sell the Archbishop of Canterbury's house or collaborate with wealthy Muslims might not best serve the local community.

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