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World's first 'tree cathedral' takes root in Italy

Work by late artist Mauri marks Year of Biodiversity

01 September, 18:18
World's first 'tree cathedral' takes root in Italy (ANSA) - Bergamo, September 1 - The world's first 'tree cathedral' has taken root in woods near the northern Italian city of Bergamo.

The remarkable work designed by Italian environment artist Giuliano Mauri, who died last year, has been completed after months of work and presented as one of the initiatives marking the International Year of Biodiversity.

Standing at an altitude of 1,345 metres at Oltre Il Colle on the slopes of the Arera mountain, the cathedral is 28.5 metres long, 24m wide and its height varies from five to 21m.

The natural basilica has five aisles and 42 columns made of 1,800 fir poles, 600 chestnut branches and 6,000 metres of hazel branch joined by wood, nails and string using traditional weaving methods.

In the future 42 beeches will grow inside the cathedral and nature will be allowed to take its course to complete the work.

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