28 May 2015

Church: Basilica's nave can be saved

12:21 pm on 28 May 2015

Attempts will be made to save part of the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch's earthquake-damaged cathedral, with members of the church deciding not to restore it fully.

The diocese announced today that, after four years of testing and modelling, it believed it could save the nave of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.

The damaged Catholic Basilica in Christchurch.

Christchurch's Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament Photo: Wikicommons

The diocese will apply to have part of the cathedral, which it said was damaged beyond repair, demolished in order to retain the nave of the church.

The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament is registered as Category 1 with Heritage New Zealand and as a Group 1 building in the Christchurch City Plan, and is listed as having international and national significance.

The diocese has put a cap of $45 million on the project, including the cost of deconstruction, and is looking to raise funds to meet part of that total.

It said early estimates to replace the cathedral with a replica came to about $110 million.

The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament has not been used since the magnitude 7 quake in September 2010.

Further damage caused by the February 2011 quake, and another in June that year, left it unsafe to enter.

The city's diocese has had an insurance payout for all its damaged properties, including school and parish buildings.

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