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19th-century French church to be demolished

A neo-Gothic 19th-century church that dominates the town of Gesté, France, is to be torn down due to it’s size, condition, and budget concerns. It was built on the ruins of a 16th-century church that was destroyed in the French Revolution.

Although the church, dedicated to St. Peter, is arguably the sole architectural jewel in this town of 2,400 people, the town has decided to tear it down and replace it with a new one that will be far cheaper to keep up.

Erected in stages to accommodate 900 people, the formidable stone building has stood sadly empty since 2006. Completing the picture of dereliction, it is surrounded by a wire fence to protect visitors from the very real threat of crumbling stonework.

“Because of its size and complexity it will always be costly to maintain,” said Jean-Pierre Léger, 61, a retired engineer who is Gesté’s part-time mayor. “It is a victim of its considerable size. It is too big.”

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