Fate of Basilica not known yet

12:19 pm on 24 February 2012

Unresolved insurance negotiations mean the fate of damaged Catholic churches in Christchurch, including the Basilica, will not be known for several months.

The Cathedral Management Board says work will continue on the Basilica but its future remains uncertain, with early reports estimating it will cost about $100 million to restore it.

Chair Lance Ryan says the nave is the only part which can be retained, but it will need extensive reinforcing.

Mr Ryan says the church is considering whether to demolish the existing building; to retain what it can of the Basilica and rebuild it, or, in the short-term, whether or not to mothball the building until it has a clearer picture.

He says the board is working on removing the organ and stained glass windows from the Basilica.