Britain's 1,000-year-old abbey to get a 21st century 'corona'

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London, June 29 (ANI): More than 1,000 years after its construction, Britain's famous Westminster Abbey is likely get a 21st century "corona", or crown, at an estimated cost of 10 million pounds.

Ever since Benedictine monks first made their home at Westminster AD 960, the Abbey has been an architectural playground.

Monarchs and architects, including Sir Christopher Wren, Nicholas Hawksmoor and Sir George Gilbert Scott, have commissioned and built towers, turrets and chapels in a variety of styles, The Independent reports.

The Abbey authorities are to launch a public consultation on plans to add a corona.

Wren and Hawksmoor are among those who have argued that the building needed a corona (featured atop some cathedrals) to mark its significance on the London skyline. Both sketched designs for this feature, which were later discarded.

Now the Dean of Westminister, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, has resurrected the idea.

Hall said the mix of architectural styles was part of the Abbey's appeal.

Just as Wren's Gothic west towers had not been in keeping with the Romanesque architecture of the rest of the Abbey, the design of the corona could be "21st century" although it would have to be in keeping with the rest of its surroundings too, he said.

"The idea, in broad terms, for a corona, is to imagine a lifting of the eye. It could be made of wood, lead, stained glass with a cross the top, something which says this is where coronations have happened. It needs to be 21st century but also in keeping with the surrounding," he said.

The Queen has been briefed on the plan and if the concept proves popular, the Abbey will hold an architectural competition, and invite the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to oversee entries.

It is hoped the work will be ready in time to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen's Coronation at the Abbey in 2013 with the large crown a symbol of the royal milestone. (ANI)

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