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St Paul's Completes £40 Million Restoration Project and Celebrates 300th Anniversary
The sun shines on St Paul's Cathedral in London, Thursday, June 16, 2011. The cathedral is seen without scaffolding for the first time in 15 years, as a cleaning and restoration project costing 40 million pounds (US$ 64.37million, euro 45.69 million). It is the first time in its history that the building has been comprehensively restored inside and out since its completion in 1711. AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth.
LONDON.- In June 2011, one of the largest and most impressive restoration projects ever undertaken in the UK is formally completed. The St Paul’s Cathedral programme of cleaning and repair has cost £40m, taken 15 years, and is the first time in its history that the building has been comprehensively restored inside and out.

The culmination of the cleaning project coincides with the tercentenary of St Paul’s Cathedral being declared complete by Parliament.

Since the project of cleaning and repair commenced, the exterior and interior of the cathedral have been beautifully restored. Once blackened and damaged, the west front now rises majestically at the top of Ludgate Hill. The interior of the cathedral has been transformed by state of the art conservation techniques and the light that now floods the space highlights the Portland stone used in the cathedral’s construction and brings mosaics, carvings and sculpture to life.

The Right Reverend Graeme Knowles, Dean of St Paul’s said: "We are thrilled that in the year that we celebrate the 300th anniversary of Wren’s masterpiece, we can also mark the successful completion of this extraordinary restoration project. The two million worshippers, pilgrims and visitors who come to St Paul’s each year can now witness Wren’s original vision and see the cathedral as fresh as the day it was completed.”

Martin Stancliffe, Surveyor to the Fabric, who has overseen the restoration project, said: "It has been a privilege – and an extraordinary experience - to have led the team of professionals, craftsmen and conservators who have contributed so much to this transforming project. This great building is now in a sound state, and probably looks better than at any time since its completion in 1711.”



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