The legendary 19th century tea clipper was badly damaged in a fire in the London borough of Greenwich yesterday. The cause of the fire is still unclear, but the police assume it was arson. Nobody got hurt.
The 138-year-old ship was in a dry dock where it was to be renovated for the equivalent of 37 million euros when the fire broke out at 5:30 a.m. local time and destroyed large parts of the hull and planking. The center of Greenwich and parts of the Royal Navy Academy were closed for hours. According to Richard Doughty, the head of the trust fund, the damage to the ship was not so severe that a complete restoration would be impossible.
The “Cutty Sark”, once the fastest ship in the world, was launched on September 23, 1869 in Scotland. From London, the tea clipper set sail for ports all over the world until it was converted into a museum ship in the 1950s. For decades now, the only remaining tea clipper has been one of London's most popular tourist attractions