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Great Fire of London retold with wooden replica blaze

image copyrightAFP/Getty Images
image captionThe replica was lit as part of a retelling of the Great Fire of London

A giant wooden replica of 17th century London has been set ablaze on the River Thames in a retelling of the Great Fire of London 350 years ago.

Crowds gathered on the banks of the Thames to watch the 120-metre long model go up in flames.

The inferno in 1666 raged for four days, destroying most of the city, which then was largely of wood.

It paved the way for large-scale reconstruction including the building of today's St Paul's Cathedral.

More than 13,000 homes, businesses and structures, including the old St Paul's, were destroyed.

Following the fire, stone started being used in the capital as a building material and an organised fire service and insurance industry were established.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe replica was 120 metres long
image copyrightPA
image captionMore than 13,000 homes, businesses and structures were destroyed in the Great Fire of London
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionAt the time of the fire most buildings were made from wood
image copyrightAP
image captionThe retelling of the blaze was described as a "spectacle"
image copyrightReuters
image captionThe event was part of a festival held to commemorate the Great Fire
image copyrightGetty Images

The burning of the replica of London took place during a festival held to commemorate the Great Fire.

London's Burning, which was held from 30 August to 4 September, featured a series of art installations, performances, talks and tours and was organised by the company Artichoke.

Helen Marriage, director of Artichoke, said: "I feel so relieved that it actually went off, because obviously when you do a live event you never know."

Tim Marlow, the artistic director of the Royal Academy of Arts, said it was a unique event.

He said: "I've seen a shed blown up in the name of art, I've seen fireworks, I've seen artists bury themselves, I've seen the trace of an artist shooting himself in the hand or nailing himself to a car, but actually I've never seen anyone collaborate with so many people in such an extraordinary and exciting way, to make a commemorative replica of a skyline 350 years ago and then set fire to it.

"I mean this is spectacle and then some."

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