Notre Dame Cathedral update Nov2020!

All quiet on the western front! I have been away from these updates and everybody else have been rather quiet too. However, things are moving along and we still have the magic five years to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris. 

Let me give you the latest from the French press on the reconstruction with some of my previous posts on the subject for the new arrivals to my blog.

The return of the statues, reopening of the crypt, study on wooden structures is ongoing!! Closed to the public since the fire of April 15, 2019, the Notre Dame Cathedral is gradually coming back to life.

They have been working day and night to dismantle the damaged scaffolding, and for several weeks, they have been setting up a scaffolding over 30 meters inside the cathedral. Dismantling of the damaged scaffolding, state of the vaults, removal of the organ, test site for cleaning and restoration in two chapels of the cathedral.

The archaeological crypt of Ile de la Cité, located under the cathedral, has also just reopened to visitors. There, an exhibition devoted to Victor Hugo and Eugène Viollet-Le-Duc, the two key men in the resurrection of the cathedral in the 19C, has been installed since last September 9 2020. Likewise, a brand new souvenir shop has appeared on the forecourt, designed above all to be a place of welcome for visitors/tourists.

A few km away, three statues which adorned the spire of the Notre Dame Cathedral such as those of the apostles Saint Barthélémy, Saint Jude and Saint Simon will be exhibited at the Cité de l’Architecture, at the Trocadéro (16éme arrondissement), as part of the European Heritage Days in September 2020. They had been removed a few days before the fatal fire, to be sent to Dordogne for their renovation. Now restored, they are the first of a set of 16 miraculous statues which will find their place once the building has been restored. Next to them, the famous bronze rooster, which was on the spire of the cathedral and miraculously recovered after the fire, will also be exhibited on this occasion.

Regarding the restoration of the Notre-Dame Cathedral, a study project targeting the spire, the framework and the roof is launched since September 17 2020 by students from 4 major schools specializing in wood. Together, they will be responsible for designing a prototype of an evolving and adaptable wooden frame according to the knowledge which will result from the studies in progress. A first progress report will be made public in mid-December 2020, then the conclusions of this project will be unveiled next January 2021.

The government presented an ordinance which will dispense with a certain number of procedures and obligations to reopen or extend new stone quarries, which will considerably facilitate the restoration work of Notre-Dame Cathedral which has a significant need for freestone. This commitment is further proof of the desire to do whatever is necessary to facilitate the restoration work and achieve the objective set by the President of the French Republic (France) of completing the reconstruction site of this cathedral so dear to the French in five years.

Currently, workers perched tens of meters high are dismantling the gigantic metal scaffolding and its 40,000 metal tubes, a delicate painstaking job that should be completed by Christmas 2020 and will allow reconstruction to begin. A large part of this structure is mounted around the spire for its restoration and badly damaged by the fire of April 15, 2019, has been removed. Its complete removal will be completed in the next few weeks, by the end of the year. This cleaning of the upper surface of the vaults, also including the suction of lead dust, has already been largely carried out. It allowed their examination by the chief architect, with the exception of the crossing of the transept, to the right of the burnt scaffolding. Chief Architect Philippe Villeneuve was thus able to make a rather reassuring diagnosis, allowing access to several spaces in the cathedral from then on.

The removal of the great organ, which began in August 2020 , will continue until January 2021. The 8,000-pipe instrument was not damaged by fire on April 15, 2019, but it is covered with dust and parts of it suffered from thermal variations. It must therefore be cleaned and renovated.

Donations for the reconstruction of Notre-Dame Cathedral must go entirely to the site. They should no longer finance the operation of the public establishment, the Court of Auditors demanded last week. After the publication of a report on the Notre-Dame site, the president of the Court of Auditors Pierre Moscovici urged the Ministry of Culture to allocate the entire 922 million euros of donations and pledges to the catering works. Of the 922 million euros in donations pledged to rebuild Notre-Dame Cathedral, he said, the order of 400 or 500 million have so far been collected.

The official webpage of the Notre Dame Cathedral on the agenda section here:

And as promise above, my posts on the situation of Notre Dame Cathedral

Stay tune, once the scaffolds are down, the reconstruction project approve, the work really will begin. Hopefully, I will be around to see this ,at least better look than on my last passage November 2019 in Paris. Always nice and impressed to see the grand monument of the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris.

paris cat notre dame cat under repairs nov19

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

5 Comments to “Notre Dame Cathedral update Nov2020!”

  1. On the plus side, how marvelous to get to see those statues up close. I was last there about the same time as you were so I’m happy to hear the scaffolding is coming down; rather like getting a cast off or braces! Thanks for the update— I had been wondering. Cheers.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Who is paying for the restoration, Church or State?

    Liked by 2 people

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