World Famous Cutty Sark After Its $78m Renovation

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 ($78 million) restoring her. Here 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 centre of the ship suffered the most damage. However, over the course of six years, the government completely restored her to spec, down to the 17km of rigging that keep the sails up.

The entire ship has been suspended from a series of of dampers 3m 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 knots. 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 for the Olympics, you should check it out. [Wikipedia,

Herald Sun, Grimshaw via DeZeen]

Image: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Image: Grimshaw

Image: Grimshaw

Image: Grimshaw

Image: Grimshaw

Image: Grimshaw

Image: Grimshaw

Image: Grimshaw

Image: Grimshaw