The reconstruction of Notre-Dame de Paris scheduled for 2022

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After the gigantic fire which devastated Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral two years ago and moved the whole world, reconstruction work will be able to begin next winter, but the enigma of the origin of the disaster remains to be seen. solve.

On April 15, 2019, while it was in the midst of restoration work, the famous Gothic cathedral, more than 850 years old and a true symbol of France, lost its magnificent spire, its roof, its clock and part of its vault, ravaged by flames, under the incredulous and devastated gaze of thousands of passers-by.

On the night of the fire, emotion won over millions of people around the world, shocked by the impressive spectacle of the fire against which the firefighters were fighting fiercely.

The cathedral is a must-see attraction for the tens of millions of tourists who visited Paris each year before the COVID-19 crisis. A worldwide interest also linked to the fame of Victor Hugo and his novel Notre Dame of Paris.

There was a September 11 effect. Watching the fire live, streaming on channels around the world. From Brazil to Asia, the collapse of the spire was to the younger generation what the collapse of the New York towers was to their parents.

A quote from:Stanislas de Laboulaye, Ambassador in charge of the international aspect of reconstruction

The securing of Notre-Dame will be completed in the summer, a long-awaited condition to start its reconstruction Alike.

But the work will not be finished five years after the fire, on April 15, 2024, even if a first mass will be said in the nave.

The final stages of securing are carried out drum beating inside and around the gaping hole left by the collapsing arrow.

Thousand chopped oaks

Calls for tenders have been made for the restoration and the architects are increasing the number of diagnoses which will allow a precise schedule for the work from next winter.

Already 1000 oaks have been cut in France and are currently drying to rebuild the spire, its apron and the crossing of the transept.

An oak intended for the reconstruction of the cathedral.

The cut oaks were left to dry.

Photo: Reuters / STEPHANE MAHE

Inside the cathedral, it is a forest of scaffolding and here and there nets and tarpaulins, where carpenters, rope access workers, scaffolders, crane operators are active.

Since the dismantling in December of the immense calcined scaffolding which surrounded the spire on the day of the disaster – 40,000 tubes sawn one by one between June and November last – the danger of a major collapse has been eliminated.

Lead fumes

Bad weather, (limited) work stoppages due to the pandemic and especially the many measures and arrangements related to the fight against lead fumes have also caused delays and increased the bills.

Will we one day find the cause of the fire in the famous building? The search took a long time, as investigators were waiting for the scaffolding that surrounded the cathedral before the fire to be dismantled for restoration work and which had remained in place afterwards.

Very few elements filter on the progress of the file. But according to a source close to the investigation, the investigations on the site are now completed.

A long phase of analyzes by experts of what was recovered from the rubble should extend further over several months.

In the current state of affairs, it is not possible to say that we will one day be able to say with certainty what could have been at the origin of the fire, in particular given the extent of the fire. damage caused by fire.

A quote from:A source close to the investigation

In June 2019, at the end of the preliminary investigation, the Paris prosecutor indicated that he favored the accidental track.

Butt, short circuit

For the moment, we remain on the same theses: the butt, the short-circuit, indicates the source close to the investigation, still believing that it is too early to say that one of these two options is preferred.

In parallel, several failures in the security of the cathedral were found, in particular in the alarm system of the building, which contributed to delaying the call to the firefighters on the day of the fire, or in the electrical system. one of the elevators.

These malfunctions are probably not at the origin of the fire, but could have allowed the flames to propagate in the building.

Generosity and pandemic

Will the approximately 830 million euros of national and international fundraising (350,000 donors) be sufficient for the reconstruction of Notre-Dame? Many doubt it.

The outpouring of international generosity has been exceptional in two years, but is now strongly penalized and complicated by the pandemic.

To read and see :

  • Notre-Dame de Paris: the perilous dismantling of the scaffolding has begun
  • Discovery: Notre-Dame de Paris the secrets of the builders
  • Notre-Dame: a year after the fire, a dormant construction site

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