[Anglican Taonga] Bells rescued from ChristChurch Cathedral have been shipped to the English foundry where they were made for specialist restoration.
The 13 bells were buried in tonnes of masonry when the tower collapsed in Christchurch’s Feb. 22, 2011 earthquake.
Some suffered cracks and one looks to be damaged beyond repair.
They have been transported free of charge by shipping company Maersk to John Taylor Bell Foundry in Loughborough, Leicestershire, where they were cast in 1978.
Foundry boss Simon Adams said the Anglican Church had no option but to send them to England for expert repairs.
“The bells fell from the tower of the cathedral and the entire contents of the belfry fell on top them,” he told BBC News Leicester.
“We have to make 13 new sets of fittings for the bells – and undertake some specialist testing of the bells and further repairs.”
Much of the cathedral’s taonga (artifacts) have been removed and put into safe storage, including stained-glass windows and the statue of the Risen Christ outside the west doors.
Work is currently underway on a NZ$5.3 million (US$4.41 million) temporary cathedral on the edge of the city’s red zone cordon in Latimer Square which will be used by the congregation while ChristChurch Cathedral is rebuilt.