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Crumbling Cologne cathedral drops stones

The Local · 20 Mar 2012, 10:55

Published: 20 Mar 2012 10:55 GMT+01:00

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A 50-centimetre chunk of the cathedral fell off from 25 metres above the ground and smashed into smaller pieces when it hit the roof before showering onto people below.

The Kölner Stadt Anzeiger newspaper reported on Tuesday that a homeless man who had been sitting by the cathedral was hit on the head and required brief hospital treatment for cuts.

And although the area was roped off while workers inspected the spot where the piece had broken off, people familiar with the cathedral say bits break off all the time.

Smaller pieces break off all the time, Matthias Demi of the cathedral’s constructions office told the paper, though usually “only in very wet weather or wind.” When there is exceptionally bad weather, such as storms, the cathedral is cordoned off.

“It was very unusual that such a big piece broke off in such good weather,” said the head of the cathedral’s building operations Barbara Schock-Werner. She said she had never seen anything like that in 13 years of working at the cathedral.

After an inspection it was determined that the piece that fell was from the 14th century and dropped off from the cathedral due to wear and tear.

“It could be that the stone already had a crack in it and because of the strong temperature changes between February and March and the crack grew,” Demi told the newspaper.

For now the spot will not be repaired as it would require extra scaffolding and be too big of a job at the moment.

Story continues below…

The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:45 March 20, 2012 by Englishted
Is the reporter who wrote this article called chicken little by any chance?
22:02 March 20, 2012 by Englishted
@Chango Mutney

It is a world heritage site and is huge and this time has nothing to blame the E.U. for.
08:32 March 21, 2012 by Wrench
Money for the restoration project for the Dom was diverted to the Solidarity Tax.
15:47 March 30, 2012 by Bruno53
Ironic: it escaped from World War II's airbombings and artillery fire yet it cannot escape from the ravages of time. Ironic, isn't it?
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