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Last Updated: Monday, 13 October, 2003, 19:19 GMT 20:19 UK
Medieval ceiling restored
Cathedral ceiling
The ceiling is the country' biggest piece of medieval art
One of Peterborough Cathedral's most impressive treasures is going back on view for the first timer in seven years.

The 800-year-old cathedral ceiling, the biggest medieval work of art in the country, has been covered up since 1996 while a team worked to restore it.

The project, which cost 1.6m, is complete.

It has taken so long that many people will not remember what the ceiling looked like without scaffolding, said cathedral dean the Very Reverend Michael Bunker.

" Starting to get this down and be able to see all this wonderful medieval art in all its glory is fantastic," the dean said.

There have been some interesting finds along the way but there have been setbacks.

Two years ago, five years into the restoration, a fire broke out in the cathedral.

Damage from the smoke meant the entire ceiling had to be re-cleaned.

Cathedral floor
The drop from ceiling to floor is 80 feet
This latest restoration is not the first time the ceiling has needed attention.

After the fire the restoration team found graffiti left by workmen who carried out repairs in the 1830s.

Their mark 80 feet up is the highest graffiti in the region - and they managed to leave it without the assuring support of a scaffolding platform.

Cathedral architect Julian Limentani said they would have leaned out of door over the 80-foot drop to write their names on the ceiling.

Taking down the scaffolding is expected to take another three weeks.

The final piece should have been removed in time for Remembrance Sunday.

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01 Oct 02  |  England
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23 Nov 01  |  England

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