Pictures show the demolition of the historic part of the Royal Albion hotel that was destroyed by last weekend's huge blaze.

Brighton promenade was packed with onlookers as a digger ripped and picked at the Grade II listed facade that had to go due to safety concerns.

Bricks and mortar crumbled as the arm of the machine did its work.

On Tuesday, leader of Brighton and Hove City Council Bella Sankey said a 3D scan of the whole exterior of the building has been carried out and photos will be taken regularly to allow the council to replicate the original features.

“We of course want to save as much of this iconic, heritage building as possible and have tasked our contractors to do this," she said.

“As many original features as possible will be set aside for reuse or for moulds / copying.

“We are in contact with Historic England and will continue to work closely with them.”

Concerns about asbestos, which is known to be in the textured ceiling coatings used in the building, were also addressed.

Alistair Hill director of Public Health’s advice said: “We understand there are health concerns about asbestos. I would like to reassure people that the risks to health are low.

“Asbestos is known to be in the textured ceiling coatings used in the building but there is unlikely to be any significant risk of exposure to asbestos following this fire.

“The area around the hotel will remain closed off to the public and we do not believe that any asbestos has fallen outside this area.

The hotel first opened its doors in August 1826 and was designed by prolific local architect Amon Henry Wilds.

Famous guests including Oscar Wilde stayed at the Classical-style building, which boasted giant Corinthian pilasters and columns, shell decorations and balconies.

Saturday's fire was not the first time the hotel had been burned, tragedy struck on November 24 1998 after a fire devastated a large part of the building.

A trainee chef was cooking eggs and sausages when fat started spitting from the frying pan and caught light.