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International effort raises funds to restore British wartime relic

Published: Saturday 15th of November 2008

A major fundraiser effort by Russian businesses has generated much-needed cash to save one of London's leading visitor attractions.

The two masts of HMS Belfast said to be suffering from significant rust damage and will be costly to repair, with the bill likely to top a million pounds ($2 million).

But relief has come from the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce which, together with the Russian businesses it represents, has raised over £200,000 ($400,000) towards the repairs, the Moscow News reports.

Russian deputy prime minister Sergei Ivanov said: "This project symbolizes the common will of the Allies fighting shoulder to shoulder against Nazism.

"We remember those heroic days when hundreds of thousands of sailors and soldiers were struggling for freedom despite numerous losses."

The replacement masts are being manufactured at the port at Severodvinsk on the White Sea, which was a key strategic location during HMS Belfast's World War Two activities.

This weekend the nation commemorated their war dead services held all over the country as part of Remembrance Sunday.

LondonPass holders can enjoy free entry aboard HMS Belfast, saving adults £10.30.

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