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George Gilbert Scott's Chinese cathedral to rise again

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George Gilbert Scott's Anglican cathedral in Shanghai is in line for a £3 million facelift, following 50 years of decline.

The move is a further sign of interest in historic Western architecture in China, and will see the building restored for the first time since it was handed over to the Communist Party in 1946.

The cathedral was designed in the 1860s by Gilbert Scott, and for nearly half a century stood as the focal point for Anglicanism in the Far East.

Since 1946, however, the building has been left to deteriorate, crumbling apart with cracked brick work and smashed windows.

But two years ago the cathedral was handed back to the Church - and ambitious plans have been drawn up to bring it back to life.

The spire, which was knocked down during the Cultural Revolution, will also be rebuilt when work begins later this month.

A spokesperson for the Zhang Ming Architectural Design Firm, which is heading up the renovation and is also responsible for the restoration of some of Shanghai's best-known European buildings, said the work will take two years.

by Richard Vaughan

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