New Zealand quake city opens cardboard cathedral
WELLINGTON (AFP) - Christchurch's cardboard cathedral officially opens on Thursday, replacing the neo-Gothic structure destroyed in a 2011 earthquake that killed 185 people in New Zealand's second largest city.
Completion of the innovative structure, designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, marks a major milestone in the city's recovery from the devastating 6.3-magnitude quake that levelled much of the downtown area, acting dean Lynda Patterson said.
"The old cathedral symbolised the city in many ways and we think this cathedral is a symbol that Christchurch is regrouping and rebuilding," she told AFP.
"The community has a cathedral again. It's a place where people can come for quiet contemplation in the city centre and somewhere we can hold concerts and art exhibitions."