The Cutty Sark is kind of a big deal. It’s the last tea clipper in existence and is considered a national maritime treasure by the British. So when she was badly damaged in a fire in 2007, the British government spent £50 million restoring her. These are the results.

Conservation of the Cutty Sark is among the most extensive ever taken on a historical ship. The ship suffered extensive damage in a fire that raged for hours before firefighters could bring it under control. The center of the ship suffered the most damage. However, over the course of six years the government completely restored her to spec, down to the 11 miles of rigging that keep the sails up.

The entire ship has been suspended from a series of of dampers 11 feet above its dry dock. This system not only provides space for visitors to explore the hull, it also protects the ship’s unique shape while it isn’t submerged. And it’s that shape that made the Cutty Sark one of the fastest wind-powered ships ever with a top speed of 17.5 knotts. Around the ship, London architectural firm Grimshaw constructed a canopy of glass and latticework to protect and illuminate the museum below. The Cutty Sark is on permanent display in Greenwich, South London, so if you happen to be by from the Olympics, you should check it out. [Wikipedia,
Herald Sun, Grimshaw via DeZeenImage: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images ]

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