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Monday, 26 August, 2002, 15:43 GMT 16:43 UK
Manhattan church to reopen after attack
The World Trade Center site 10 days after the attack
Almost 3000 died in the World Trade Center attack

A chapel which stood in the shadows of the World Trade Center in New York is to reopen to the public on Monday, for the first time since the Twin Towers were destroyed on 11 September last year.

Graveyard at St Paul's church  ( picture courtesy of www.trinitywallstreet.org )
The graveyard now looks over an empty space
St Paul's Chapel has undergone a $300,000 refurbishment in the past weeks, after serving for eight months as a relief post for emergency workers and a place for visitors to leave their remembrances.

St Paul's was built before the United States of America even existed as an independent country. At 235 years old, it is one of the very oldest buildings on Manhattan.

Yet it held up, untouched, through the attacks on its neighbour, the World Trade Center, and only some of the tombstones in its graveyard were damaged.

Sanctuary among ruins

The graveyard was filled with wreckage from the planes and the buildings, but new grass has now been laid in preparation for the building to be re-opened to the public.

 Preparing incense for a re-dedication of St Paul's Chapel ( picture courtesy of www.trinitywallstreet.org )
The chapel will return to being a building of public worship
A mass will mark the Chapel's resumption of its role as a place for quiet reflection and worship in the heart of the city.

For eight months after the attacks it was a relief post for food, medicine and spiritual help for hundreds of emergency workers.

Their boots created as much wear and tear on the marble floors during that time as would usually be expected in 50 years.

The floors have been restored, and the walls and ceiling repainted in pale pink and baby blue.

But the scuff marks on the pews from the belts and braces of the emergency workers' uniforms have been left, as a reminder of their time at the chapel.

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