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Eight years after the earthquake, Christ Church Cathedral sifts rubble to recover a lost Rose Window

Eight years after the earthquake, Christ Church Cathedral sifts rubble to recover a lost Rose Window has an intriguing look into the recovery of the Rose Window of Christ Church Cathedral, partially destroyed in the earthquake of June 2011. After years of negotiations and arguments,

A deal to restore the earthquake-damaged cathedral was signed in August by the private joint venture company that will run the restoration, Anglican land and cathedral owners the Church Property Trustees, and the trust formed to represent the Government and oversee fundraising.

Stuff describes workers lowered into the ruins in buckets, and retrieving pieces of masonry “about the size of car engines, along with smaller pieces the size of a can of beans.” Pieces of stained glass still intact within their lead frames have also been recovered.

The shattered rose window of the Christ Church Cathedral is like a giant jigsaw puzzle for stonemason Mark Whyte.

Whyte is carefully sorting through the rubble from the collapsed western end of the cathedral in preparation for the building’s eventual restoration. …

He has sorted about 300 pieces of limestone and basalt into crates, which are labelled according to where in the elevation they belong. They will then be stored for possible use as a template when it comes time to restore the rose window.

He has examined each piece for clues about where it might have come from.

“We are finding large sections of the rose window that are very identifiable.

“But these tiny pieces, they may seem a bit silly, but they will help us piece together the jigsaw further down the line.”

The restoration is expected to take around ten years.

Read more about the recovery work and background at


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