Notre Dame Cathedral two years after the fire: what’s wrong with it now

(ORDO NEWS) — With a record high donation, France is poised to reopen the cathedral in 2024.

April 15 marks two years since the large-scale fire in Notre Dame Cathedral. Immediately after the disaster, French President Emmanuel Macron promised that the architectural monument would open in just five years: for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Recently, French Culture Minister Roseline Bachelot confirmed that there are no deviations from the schedule.

Answering questions in the Senate, she reported that for these purposes it was possible to collect 833 million euros in donations. The restoration had not yet begun: the time elapsed since the fire was required to assess the damage, draw up a repair plan and prepare for it.

The work includes, in particular, the decontamination of a site covered with tons of lead dust; removal, analysis and cataloging of debris; transfer of organ, stained-glass windows and works of art for conservation; strengthening of vaults and windows; dismantling the metal scaffolding that had melted to form a rigid frame; and the installation of new scaffolding and a temporary roof to protect the building from the elements.

A three-dimensional was also created model cathedral.

In March of this year, the selection and cutting of 1000 oak trees required for the new roof began. The wood must be hardened before use, which will take up to 18 months.

Some may say that in the time it takes to do this, a high-quality roof construction could’ve taken place and other refurbishments could have been completed too. The idea of using materials such as spray polyurethane foam, which companies like American Foam Experts are experts in is something that has been growing in popularity recently, especially amongst those who have needed work doing on their roof.

But the Notre Dame Cathedral is a special monument that is in the hearts of so many, and they will be more than happy to wait 18 months to see this happen.

In two chapels, new methods of cleaning from dust and dirt that have accumulated over 150 years have already been successfully tested. Now the remaining 22 chapels will be cleaned using this technology.

Direct restoration will begin this fall. The opening of the cathedral in 2024 will mark the completion of its first phase, and it will take many years to fully restore the monument to its last known state. There are many such examples in history and architecture: for example, Strasbourg Cathedral in France was built more than 500 years, which did not prevent it from being a functioning temple.


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