Sydney Sites Returning to Normal
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SYDNEY, Australia, AUG. 26, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The principal venues that provided the setting for Benedict XVI's meeting with the world's youth are almost back to normal.
Five weeks after Australia's largest-ever gathering, Randwick Racecourse has been returned to the racing industry by World Youth Day 2008 staff and the New South Wales government.
The site was transformed last month into an open air cathedral where the Pope celebrated the evening vigil for more than 200,000 people and the final Mass for twice that number.
"The images of hundreds of thousands of people from around the world gathering in Randwick Racecourse to pray with Pope Benedict will become an enduring reminder of one of the most special events in Sydney's history," said Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney.
The youth day team has also dismantled structures at its other main site -- Barangaroo in East Darling Harbor.
"Both sites provided spectacular settings for solemn, yet joyous liturgical events, watched by up to a billion people globally," Cardinal Pell said. "Every Sydneysider -- no matter what their faith -- should be proud of the way in which the city hosted the youth of the world in July."