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Tycoon funds NZ cathedral survey

by a staff reporter

GFDL / CREATIVE COMMONS

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Credit: GFDL / CREATIVE COMMONS

A BRITISH billionaire has announced that he will fund a survey of residents, asking what they want for the future of Christchurch Cathedral, in New Zealand, after the damage caused by the earthquake in 2011 (News, 25 February 2011).

In a press conference in Canterbury, New Zealand, earlier this month, Hamish Ogston, a businessman, also repeated his pledge of $4 million for the restoration of the cathedral.

A spokesman for the Bishop of Christchurch, the Rt Revd Victoria Matthews, said that they had been given no advance information about the announcement, nor had they been invited to the event.

The earthquake in 2011 destroyed the spire and part of the tower of the cathedral, and left the remaining structure unsafe. The cathedral was later partially demolished for safety reasons.

Since the earthquake, there has been disagreement between the diocese, which wants to build a new, modern cathedral, and groups who want the old cathedral rebuilt and restored (News, 12 October 2012).

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