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The Palace of Westminister, including the British Parliament and Big Ben, needs a $12 million face-lift, a committee of members of Parliament reports. If repairs and cleaning are not carried out on this scale, there could be "irretrievable deterioration in the condition of one of the most distinguished and best-loved buildings" in Britain. The palace was rebuilt in late Gothic style after a fire destroyed the original Parliament buildings in 1834. Only medieval Westminster Hall, where King Charles I and Sir Thomas More stood trial, escaped the fire.

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