Page last updated at 14:03 GMT, Tuesday, 24 June 2008 15:03 UK

Cutty Sark is saved by 3.3m gift

The restoration of the Cutty Sark is due to be completed by 2010

The Cutty Sark will be fully restored thanks to a 3.3m donation from an Israeli shipping tycoon.

The ship, based in Greenwich, south-east London, was part-way through a 35m conservation project when a fire started onboard in May last year.

Shipping magnate Sammy Ofer has donated 3.3m to enable the restoration to be completed by 2010.

The Cutty Sark Trust welcomed the "extraordinary" donation. The cause of the fire remains unclear.

The restoration project will see the ship suspended 3m (9.8ft) above the bottom of her dry berth.

The space below will be transformed into a gallery, enabling visitors to see the shape of the ship's hull.

Conservation work reached a "major milestone" in April, when a seven-tonne iron counter, a large and delicate part of the ship's stern, was lifted by crane from the rest of the ship.

Other work, which has been ongoing despite the fire, includes the restoration of the wooden planks from the ship's hull.

Culture Secretary Andy Burnham said: "Mr Ofer's donation towards the conservation of the Cutty Sark is both extremely generous and enormously appreciated."

In March Mr Ofer donated 20m to the National Maritime Museum in south-east London.

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The Cutty Sark on fire, and its burnt-out remains




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