Notre Dame Cathedral update Mar2022

And time to come back to this wonderful epic work going on in my eternal Paris. I have follow thru on the reconstruction of Notre Dame Cathedral since its unfortunate fire in April 2019. There are several posts on the work going on in my blog; and feels it needs another update. Therefore, without further words here is the Notre Dame Cathedral update for March 2022.

A bit of historical facts: At the height of its 850 years, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris has gone through centuries and history. From the laying of its first stone in 1163, to the fire of April 2019 which destroyed its framework and caused the collapse of its spire. Although its initial construction spanned from 1163 to 1351, Notre-Dame never ceased to evolve over the centuries it has gone through. It is more than a cathedral, is a symbol of Paris and France to the world!

The investigation is in the hands of three investigating judges. No communication filters. Will the mystery be lifted one day? Nothing is less certain, because the charred debris will not necessarily deliver a clue. However, prevention has also shown its limits: in September 2020, in a report, the Court of Auditors pointed to a lack of anticipation, especially when it was necessary to renew the fire safety market.

It is a verdict that was expected by many faithful and inhabitants of Paris. The fire that ravaged the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15, 2019, was not criminal, investigators from the Paris PJ criminal squad have concluded. After a long process and two years of investigation to reconstruct the course of the disaster, the experts believe that it was not caused by a voluntary act. These conclusions come as the release, last Wednesday, March 16, 2022, of Notre-Dame Brûle (is burning) , the film by Jean-Jacques Annaud which traces the thread of the disaster and the cascade of malfunctions which almost jeopardized the rescue of one of the most visited monuments in the world. While other expert reports are awaited, justice is currently retaining two leads to justify the accidental start of the fire: a cigarette butt or a short circuit . Jean-Jacques Annaud’s film shows both: one of the construction workers catering smokes, despite the ban, near the “forest” of thousand-year-old beams, while pigeons peck at the electric cables of the bells. A little further, a welder causes sparks near an abandoned bottle of flammable liquid. The police identified that the fire had started at the base of the large arrow, around 18h50 (6:50 p.m.) They suspect a fault in the electrical installation and a short circuit, the causes of which remain to be established. According to the investigators , they are wondering about the installation of an elevator on the site, but the hypothesis of a fire starting on a hot spot linked to a weld has not been ruled out.

The long way to what happened and the reconstruction of Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris.

Two chapels, out of the twenty-four in the cathedral, were chosen in order to test the cleaning and restoration protocols in real conditions, and in anticipation of the future construction site: that of Saint-Ferdinand, decorated by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc , and that of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In the chapel of Saint-Ferdinand, two techniques for cleaning painted decorations will be tested: either by mechanical stripping or by laser.

The cathedral is entirely “lined” with a “spider’s web” of metal. At different levels, floors make it possible to work at head height, without being suspended from harnesses. At its highest point, the scaffolding reaches more than 25 meters, just under the vaults, along the entire length of the cathedral and its transept.

This is an important stage of the project: the great organ and its 8,000 pipes have been dismantled in order to proceed with its restoration. It took four months to complete the removal. If the structure escaped the flames, the lead dust covered it and the summer heat waves damaged it.

A tow of lime had been applied last year to the vaults to prevent the stone from crumbling, pending this operation. Made to measure, the hangers are placed under all the weakened vaults to prepare their restoration. This is the last security operation which, once completed, makes it possible to officially declare Notre-Dame out of danger. They are the miracles of the fire; initially adorning the spire of Viollet-le-Duc, the 16 statues of the apostles had been removed and sent for restoration five days earlier. While waiting for the reconstruction of the spire, they are exhibited at the City of Architecture and Heritage in Paris. See the nicestatue of Saint Thomas in the guise of Viollet-le-Duc himself!

The reconstruction phase itself could not begin until the beginning of 2022. A thousand oak trees from France were offered, mostly from five regions (Burgundy, Center Val de Loire, Grand Est, Pays de la Loire, Normandy) for the main framework. Half of them come from public forests, half from nearly 150 private forests. After cutting, drying on site, “skidding” (transfer to the edge of the roads) and cutting, they had to be transported to around twenty sawmills. Towards the beginning of 2023, they will be transported to the workshops of the carpenters, who will follow the plans of Viollet-Le-Duc for an identical reconstruction. Oaks have also been donated by foreign donors. In a later phase, it will be necessary to redo the medieval frameworks of the nave and the choir with thousands of other trees, younger this time.

The real restoration can begin. This phase will be the long-awaited phase of the restoration of the spire and the collapsed vault. A major cleaning operation inside the cathedral has begun, on which the rest of the operations depend. This includes cleaning up the site. It is due to last until spring 2022. In parallel, scientific studies of stained glass windows are taking place, including the three large roses. The largest instrument in France has moved; its restoration is spread over three workshops of different organ builders and will last until autumn 2023. Reopening of Notre Dame Cathedral April 16, 2024. This is the date set to return the cathedral to worship, five years, day to day, after the fire. A Mass in the nave is already scheduled.

Things are moving right along, less news , more work. The end results is that they are on target and will have it as much as possible to the identical old cathedral , which I like. Hope for the best and pray for the wonders to be seen again. The Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris is a marvelous wonderful awesome beautiful building.

The Pelerin or Pilgrim webpage on the advances of Notre Dame in French: https://www.lepelerin.com/patrimoine/notre-dame-un-chantier-hors-norme/frise-interactive-les-grandes-etapes-de-la-reconstruction-de-notre-dame/

The official reconstruction of Notre Dame in French: https://www.rebatirnotredamedeparis.fr/

There you go folks, hope you enjoy the post as I. And we are all eagerly waiting for the moment even if events has been held and will be before full restoration. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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