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Sunday, 28 November, 1999, 15:59 GMT
In pictures: Basilica reopened

The Basilica of St Francis in Assisi has been restored after its roof collapsed during an earthquake in 1997. The restoration and reconstruction of the 700-year-old church cost more than $37m.



Italian President Carlo Azegli Ciampi offers condolences, upon his arrival at the Basilica, to a relative of Claudio Bugiantella, one of two technicians who died along with two friars under the ruins of the vaults of the Basilica.



Faithful gather for the Holy Mass celebrating the reopening.



Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, celebrates mass as a Corazziere presidential guard (right) stands to attention.

Main aisle of the Basilica

People walk in the main aisle of the Basilica ahead of its official reopening on Sunday.

People look at frescoes in the main aisle

Visitors view the results of the restoration which has pieced together some 300,000 fragments of the finest frescoes in medieval Europe.

The

A view of the vaulted ceiling, showing part of the "Four Doctors of the Church" fresco. On the white area of the vault was the fresco of St Gerolamo, which collapsed in the quake.

The

The "Four Evangelists" fresco, minus the missing fresco of St Matthew.

A view of the

A view of the "St Vittorino and St Rufino" fresco, 3,000 pieces of which were pieced back together.

Many locals are still waiting for their homes to be repaired

Despite general admiration for the quality of the work, its cost has caused some bitterness in the region, where thousands are still living in trailer camps, unable to return to their damaged homes.

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27 Nov 99 |  Europe
Assisi basilica reopens

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