LONDON (Reuters) - With 15,000 new panes of glass, Britain’s Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew will reopen its famed Temperate House on Saturday after a five-year restoration that cost 41 million pounds ($56 million).
More than 69,000 items have been cleaned and replaced in the vast Grade I-listed building, billed as the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse and home to 10,000 plants, including some of the rarest from the world’s temperate regions.
The 4,880 square-metre glasshouse, built in 1860, had been in a state of disrepair, according to officials at the UNESCO World Heritage site which attracts more than one million visitors a year.
The glasshouse was closed for the works, with a tent structure large enough to cover three Boeing 747 planes enclosing the building in southwest London.
The vast project required 180 km (112 miles) of scaffolding, 5,280 litres of paint and more than 400 people working on it, with the lengthy process of re-planting starting in September.
($1 = 0.7357 pounds)
Writing by Patrick Johnston; Editing by Gareth Jones