YORK Minster has become the first building in the UK to use new state-of-the-art protective glazing to ensure its restored Great East Window will survive the ravages of time.

The use of the innovative UV-resistant glass marks a significant milestone in the restoration of the UK’s largest expanse of medieval stained glass, which began in 2008.

“The ventilated protective glazing system, made with an innovative UV-resistant glass manufactured by the world-famous Glasshutte Lamberts in Germany, will provide state-of-the-art environmental protection,” said a Minster spokeswoman.

“York Minster will be the first building in the UK to use this extraordinary new material.”

Sarah Brown, director of the York Glazier’s Trust, said the most up-to-date glass technology available in the world was being used, which could extend the life of the stained glass well into the next century and hopefully beyond.

The medieval panels of master glazer John Thornton’s dramatic Apocalypse cycle, which was designed and installed more than 600 years ago, will begin to return to the window in the summer of 2015.

The glass was designed and installed more than 600 years ago. The restoration of the glass and stone, a collaboration between the York Glazier’s Trust and the Minster’s expert team of stone masons, carvers and conservators, is part of York Minster Revealed, a five-year project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

It is currently the largest restoration and conservation project of its kind in the UK.