Interior views show Cathedral's damage

Last updated 12:50 09/03/2012

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New pictures have been released showing the extent of the damage inside Christ Church Cathedral.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) general manager of operations Warwick Isaacs said the pictures were taken by an engineer not long after the December 23 earthquakes.

"He remained in the cathedral for less than five minutes due to the danger of the situation, and he told Cera engineers he felt very uncomfortable being inside," Isaacs said.

"After this work, the church, on advice from its engineers, said no-one should re-enter the cathedral again due to the extreme danger."

Last week, the Anglican Church's announcement that most of the cathedral would be demolished attracted a wave of public criticism.

The church has refused to release engineering reports outlining the reasons for demolition, and rejected an offer of free seismic engineering advice.

Heritage advocates have expressed disappointment at the decision, and Cr Aaron Keown has threatened to chain himself to the cathedral to prevent its demolition.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has backed the church's decision, saying the cathedral was "in dreadful shape" and could suffer further damage in aftershocks.

Cera has opened a walkway to the cathedral for the next two weekends to give residents a fresh look at its condition.

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- The Press

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