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Quake Fixes At Baltimore Basilica Could Cost $5M

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(credit: baltimorebasilica.org)

(credit: baltimorebasilica.org)

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore Catholic archdiocese officials say earthquake damage to a dome at the 200-year-old Basilica of the Assumption could cost $5 million to repair.

The Baltimore Sun reports Thursday that the cracks in one of the domes at the oldest cathedral in the United States appeared soon after last summer’s earthquake and have grown.

Spokesman Sean Caine says it appears that only plaster restored during a renovation completed five years ago was damaged. He says so far, there does not appear to be structural damage to the dome.

The Basilica will be closed to most visitors over eight months starting in June while the damage is repaired. The archdiocese hopes to open the church for weekend Masses and previously scheduled weddings, but it will be closed on weekdays.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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