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  1. ITV Report

Christchurch to build cardboard cathedral after earthquake

An artists impression of the cardboard replacement for the Christchurch cathedral in New Zealand. Photo: AP Photo/Anglican diocese of Christchurch

The Anglican cathedral in the New Zealand city of Christchurch destroyed in last year's earthquake is to be rebuilt using cardboard.

The 131-year-old Gothic-style cathedral was badly damaged in the earthquake last February, and in the strong aftershocks that followed.

The replacement structure has been designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban will be made of cardboard tubes, timbre beams, and structural steel.

The cathedral was destroyed last year during the earthquake in December, and the aftershocks. Credit: REUTERS/Cameron Spencer/Pool

The new cardboard structure is intended to last more than 20 years and should be finished in time for Christmas services in December this year.

The Transitional Cathedral is a symbol of hope for the future of this city as well as being sustainable and affordable

– Richard Gray, spokesman

Architect Shigeru Ban is known for his reinforced paper and cardboard structures and designed a similar "paper church" after the 1995 Kobe earthquake in Japan.

Christchurch's landmark cathedral was a favourite meeting place and tourist attraction, but like much of the city it remains closed off more than a year after the quake.

The new structure will be built on the site of the destroyed St. John’s church, on the edge of the cordoned-off “red zone” and two blocks from Cathedral Square where the original cathedral is being taken apart.

New Zealand faces a bill of over £10 billion to rebuild the city of Christchurch.

Plans for a permanent replacement cathedral have not been finalised as the Anglican Church say it would cost up to £50 million to do so.