Demonstrators call for Cathedral to be saved

8:04 am on 27 May 2012

Thousands of people gathered in Christchurch on Saturday afternoon to protest against the demolition of the city's historic cathedral.

The Anglican Church says the building cannot be saved and demolition work is under way to take down all but two or three metres.

A Radio New Zealand reporter on the scene says about 5000 protesters gathered in Cranmer Square, stopping traffic.

Structural engineer Grant Wilksinon told the rally 100 engineers have signed a petition saying ChristChurch Cathedral can be repaired and restored to its original form.

Local stonemason Mark Robberds also told the gathering the city has the expertise to rebuild and make the cathedral safe.

After the speeches, protesters walked down Montreal Street and Worcester Boulevard to view the damaged landmark.

The protest organisers say there's also international support to fund the building's rebuild and say they will continue to ask for the demolition work to be paused.