It will cost about $4.5 million to completely restore the 182-year-old San Gabriel Mission because of damage suffered in the Oct. 1 earthquake, according to a committee formed to seek money for repairs from private and government sources.
The mission has been closed since the quake hit, opening large horizontal cracks in the walls and ceiling. Falling chunks of mortar and concrete knocked religious artifacts, including a 200-year-old crucifix, to the floor.
Norman Neuerburg, an art historian and consultant to the committee, said that mission officials were considering much-needed restoration work before the earthquake and that some church paintings and portions of the altar already were being restored.
"The earthquake sort of forced our hand," Neuerburg said. "But maybe we can turn what was a disaster into an opportunity."