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UPDATE: Notre Dame Restoration
News Bytes 04/8/2021 15 Comments

It’s been two years since a raging fire engulfed France’s famed Notre Dame Cathedral. At the time, French President Emmanuel Macron set a five-year restoration deadline for repairing Paris’ Gothic gem. But the rector of Notre Dame calls the deadline unrealistic. He says the burned-out cathedral could remain a building site for many more years.

On April 15, 2019, flames engulfed the landmark Paris church. Firefighters struggled to contain the blaze, which warped steel and completely destroyed the church’s 12th-century wooden frame. (See “Notre Dame Cathedral on Fire.”)

In the emotional days immediately following the fire, President Macron set the cathedral’s restoration deadline for 2024. He chose the date because that’s when the city of Paris is scheduled to host the Summer Olympics.

From the beginning, Macron’s goal seemed nearly impossible. French officials quickly tried to backpedal Macron’s statement. They stated that it was unlikely workers could complete the enormous project by that time.

First, the blaze had scattered vast amounts of toxic lead from the cathedral’s burned-out roof onto the worksite and in the area nearby. The serious health hazard complicated clean-up work at the site—a situation that needed to be remedied before restoration efforts could even begin. Workers had to don hazmat suits and take on-site showers to prevent taking the toxic lead dust home with them.

The global coronavirus outbreak in 2020 also complicated Notre Dame restoration efforts. No work was completed at the site for three months.

Work began again in June. As of November, the burned scaffolding on the cathedral’s spire was all removed. Now rebuilding the interior of the church has begun. But the work of inspecting, cleaning, reinforcing, and rebuilding is painstaking and slow.

Last week, Rector Patrick Chauvet spoke to the press following Good Friday ceremonies at Notre Dame. He says work on the famous building could take another “15 or 20 years.”

Current restoration projects include remodeling the cathedral’s esplanade, or walkway. Before the blaze, 20 million tourists strolled the Notre Dame esplanade along the River Seine every year. Chauvet says, “I can guarantee that there’s work to do!”

(Notre Dame rector Patrick Chauvet leads a procession, wearing protective helmets, as part of a Maundy Thursday ceremony in Notre Dame Cathedral on April 1, 2021, almost two years after a massive fire ravaged the Gothic cathedral. AP/Christophe Ena)

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Most recent comments

My goodness! The restoration

My goodness! The restoration is gonna take a much longer time I can see LOL. Hey, does anyone know if they're still doing the Summer Olympics this year like they said or did they push it back? Just curious to know.

2nd Comment

Yeah it is going to take a while, but I am sure they will get it done. Just keep at it guys!
@Carys: Um, last I heard they were still going to do it in Tokyo this year and still call it the 2020 Olympics, but I haven't heard recently.

3rd. Comment

That is such a bummer, I know that Norte Dame is one of Frances most popular tourist attractions.

Riley D

Ok, thanks for the information!

5th comment

I'm glad they are fixing it! P.S. I used to be CaroandTommy, I changed my username, just so you know.

cool

cool

Hazmat suits! oh yikes im not

Hazmat suits! oh yikes im not sure if i'd want to do the reconstruction but it might be cool i know this was areally beautiful building. so sad :(((((

I did'nt know

I didn't know that the Notre Dame had even been burned up, but it is going to be close to finish it by 2024.

@ Caro

Awesome! Thanks for the heads up! (Do you mind if I still call you Caro?)

this is mylee

i'm so happy that they are restoring the cathedral ! Its so sad how it was burned down :(. That is going to take a very long time to finish . Did ya'll watch the video when it burned how there was a cross in the fire !

this is mylee

also glad you changed your name caroline XD

@Belwyn, nope! I like Caro!

@Belwyn, nope! I like Caro!

:)

So you can still call me that..

@Caroline

I guessed your name from your nickname. I guess it wasn't that hard, since how many girl names are there that start with caro? I guess I also could have read it in a comment somewhere.... I also guess that this is an annoying and redundant comment, so I will stop. XD

@ Caro

I just thought that your name was Caro, or was short for Cameron...don't know why it would be.

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