INTRODUCTION: Urgent rebuilding and restoration work is being carried out on Milan's majestic Cathedral.
GV Milan Cathedral PAN DOWN exterior.
CU Plans showing columns supporting dome.
CU PULL BACK TO GV INTERIOR Scaffolding around column.
CU INTERIOR Stone masons and scaffolders at work. (2 SHOTS)
GV PAN UP Scaffolding around another column.
GV EXTERIOR Cathedral.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Urgent rebuilding and restoration work is being carried out on Milan's majestic Cathedral. It will be partially closed for five years while of the world's most ambitious church repair jobs is carried out.
SYNOPSIS: Work on the cathedral, which dominates the main square of the Italian city, began on Monday (16 February). The chief curator, Carlo Ferrari, described the ancient building as being "seriously ill".
Major restoration work is needed on four enormous columns surrounding the high altar. The pillars support the central dome. In 1968, they were encased in reinforced concrete, but Mr. Ferrari says this hasn't provided enough support. The vast engineering programme will cost about 12 million dollars. The chief curator said his authorities were trying to solve the problems of the cathedral's stability once and for all.
The pillars will have to be replaced piece by piece. Their foundations, weakened by the cathedral's excessive weight, will be greatly strengthened. The chief curator says the government and the Milanese people, are gladly helping with the cost of preserving their great church.