Friday, June 10, 2005

Neat Things from the Guardian

The interior of St Paul's Cathedral has been restored:
The interior of St Paul's Cathedral gleamed whiter than its architect Sir Christopher Wren ever saw it yesterday, as a four-year renovation project that has cost nearly £11m was completed.
With bright early summer light streaming through the windows, the cathedral's great interior was revealed in all its shining glory, including some details scarcely seen since the building was completed and others shown for the first time since the Victorians painted them over.

"When it was murky you could not see the differences in the architecture or the carving as Wren intended," said Sir Christopher's successor as surveyor to the fabric, Martin Stancliffe, who has supervised the project, eight years in the planning and four years in the execution. "We have now installed new chandeliers and more lights but they are still using less energy than we used to need."

Not even the great Wren saw it like this. During the 35 years of its original building the architect had the Portland stone coated in several thick layers of oil and paint to protect it from the elements before the roof was put on, so it never was as white as now.

That sticky surface absorbed the dirt and smoke of the surrounding city for several hundred years,


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