Sometimes, the fire at Notre Dame seems to fade into insignificance.
In the USA, the sheer tumult of the Trump era, the unceasing torrent of events that were unthinkable even hours before, has left a nation constantly off balance, unable to find its bearing and grasp how far it has traveled.
On Monday, an entirely peaceful protest was driven out of a city square in front of the White House with teargas, baton charges and mounted police, so Trump could pose in front of a church with a Bible.
Perhaps, some heroes may be needed.
The body overseeing the Gothic structure’s restoration issued a statement this Sunday the 31st May, saying that the reopening was finally made possible after several deep clean operations took place to remove toxic lead dust from the large forecourt.
To protect public health, the site will continue to “be regularly cleaned and samples also taken” for monitoring and analysis.
The cathedral is still closed, and will be for several years during renovations.
Dominic Cummings in his car
Normally we wouldn’t post this as it’s not about Notre Dame, but this information comes from a source at the top of the UK government.
Apparently, if you’re worried about your eyesight you can avoid any queue at the opticians but carrying out this test yourself.
Just drive for about 30 miles or so and if you don’t hit anything your eyesight is okay, probably. To be extra safe put your family in the car too, particularly a young child, four would be an ideal age.
Oh and if any of you are suffering from a virus, well we all get that from time to time, don’t we?
Look, I know the source has been revealed on other outlets so I might as well reveal it here, Dominic Cummings, a special advisor to the UK Prime Minister. Surely he can’t be lying? Er, I mean wrong?
A little over a year ago the world nearly lost one of its most recognizable examples of Gothic architecture, as the spire and a sizeable part of the roof of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris burned to ashes.
Take a quick history of Gothic architecture in order to tease out the lessons this historical style can lend to contemporary architectural design.
According to The Art Newspaper, France’s National Commission for Architecture and Heritage is not expected to furnish design recommendations for the replacement Notre Dame spire to the Ministry of Culture until later this year.
Before Parisians were required to go into lock-down to slow the spread of coronavirus, tourists were still going to Notre Dame but as a tourism of catastrophe rather than a tourism of patrimony.
Change to procedures and utilities is being done so that restoration workers can slowly return to the cathedral.
A team will enter the Paris cathedral site on Monday to make arrangements for around 50 construction workers to return from early May.
The public committee for Notre Dame’s restoration, headed by army general Jean-Louis Georgelin, had to find ways to respect social distancing, protect workers and overcome logistical issues before restarting activity.
Notre Dame by night before the fire
We don’t know. Even when the virus pandemic has passed, the melted scaffolding is a problem.
Originally erected to restore the 19th-century spire, before the fire of last year, the melted scaffolding around the roof was initially planned to be removed starting March 23rd. Due to coronavirus related measures, the French authorities did not go through with the complicated process.
The swimming pool design was never actually submitted
Donald Trump is considering buying Notre Dame and turning it into a hotel one more time as he thinks the price will have fallen considerably because of the virus.
He is particularly enamored by the prospect of turning the roof into a vast swimming pool.
He was also advised that Nigel Farage would be a good agent.
Okay this is all fiction, erm, isn’t it?
And everything has changed, No one could have predicted coronavirus and the disruption it would cause to human society, but we are where we are.
French President Emmanuel Macron issued a nationwide stay-at-home order on March 16 to prevent the spread of the virus. The artisan builders who were part of the rebuilding operation were sent home the next day. It’s unlikely restoration will resume any time soon.
Meanwhile on BBC Four tonight (April 15th) , at 9pm UK time (so 10pm in Europe), there is a documentary on the restoration so far, but done before the virus paused everything.