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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 November 2006, 16:16 GMT
Cutty Sark closes for restoration
The Cutty Sark,  Cutty Sark Trust
The Cutty Sark is the world's oldest surviving tea clipper
The Cutty Sark tea clipper is to close for a multi-million pound conservation project expected to last two years.

The 137-year-old, 900-tonne ship will be lifted nearly 10ft out of its dry dock in Greenwich, south-east London.

This will allow visitors to walk beneath the hull where there will be catering and educational facilities.

In 2004, conservationists warned the Cutty Sark's iron frame was eroding so fast that the ship could be closed to the public within three years.

Half of the funding for the 25m project has been guaranteed by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

"It will become much more of a landmark and you will be able to see it for miles around," said Anna Somerset from the trust.

"The ship will look like it is on a glittering sea and visitors will be able to walk underneath."

Most of the ship will be closed to the public from 5 November for work to begin - involving mechanical cleaning and applying preventative coatings.

Cutty Sark given 12m cash float
23 Sep 06 |  London
Historic ship needs repair
11 Dec 02 |  England

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