Pipe by precious pipe, the organ that once thundered through Notre Dame Cathedral is being taken apart after last year’s devastating fire.
The mammoth task of dismantling, cleaning and re-assembling France’s largest musical instrument started Monday and is expected to last nearly four years. It will take six months just to tune the organ, and its music isn’t expected to resound again through the medieval Paris monument until 2024, according to the state agency overseeing Notre Dame’s restoration.
Amazingly, the 8,000-pipe organ survived the April 2019 fire that consumed the cathedral’s roof and toppled its spire. But the blaze coated the instrument in toxic lead dust that must now be painstakingly removed.
While all the honey fell within the EU’s allowable limits for safe consumption, honey from hives downwind of the Notre Dame fire had average lead concentrations up to four times that of samples collected in the suburbs or countryside surrounding the city, and up to three and a half times the amount found in Parisian honey pre-dating the fire.
Because honey bees forage within a two- to three-kilometer radius of their hive, honey can provide a useful localized snapshot of the environment. As the bees forage, they collect dust and airborne particles, which make their way into the honey.
Amiens is the largest cathedral in France, with an inner volume twice the size of that of Notre Dame de Paris. Construction began on the Gothic cathedral in 1220, shortly after France acquired the relic of St. John the Baptist from Constantinople. Upon its construction, it became a popular destination for 13th-century pilgrims.
After French architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc led the restoration work on Amiens cathedral in the 19th century, he looked to the cathedral’s 16th-century wooden spire as the historic model for his design for the spire of Notre Dame de Paris.
The budget for Notre Dame’s security, consolidation, and cleaning phase must be revised upwards. To date, it has reached 165 million euros, more than double the 80 million initially estimated.
This was explained, on July 2, 2020, by General Jean-Louis Georgelin, in his capacity as president of the public institution responsible for the conservation and restoration of Notre Dame.
Heard by the Cultural Affairs Committee of the National Assembly, the soldier wanted to be optimistic: the lead emissions from the cathedral are ancient history, the dismantling phase of the scaffolding has begun, and “all the people who work there are enthusiastic and proud,” he said.
No swimming pool or organic garden on the roof of the medieval Paris monument, or contemporary glass spire, or other modern twists. And to stay historically accurate, it will again be built with potentially toxic lead.
That’s the verdict reached by French President Emmanuel Macron, the cathedral’s present-day architects and the general in charge of the colossal reconstruction project for one of the world’s most treasured landmarks.
Greenpeace activists display a banner that reads: “Climate: In Action”
Greenpeace activists on Thursday hung a banner reading “Climate: Time to Act!” from a crane towering over the fire-damaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
The World Meteorological Organization said in a report earlier on Thursday that Earth would continue to warm over the next five years and global temperatures may temporarily rise to more than 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels.
Claudine Loisel is a glass specialist at the Historical Monuments Research Laboratory in Champs-Sur-Marne, France
Stained glass is a magical material, whether in a church or a laboratory.
Conservation scientist Claudine Loisel is spellbound by the stained-glass splendours that survived a devastating fire at Paris’s famous cathedral.
Archbishop Michel Aupetit announced recently that reconstruction work may resume “in January 2021,” even while he admitted that “there are always possible risks.”
The question of the new spire which is to crown the nave of the building—identical restoration or “reinvention”—is likely to distance the horizon of reopening of the cathedral in 2024, as still desired and believed by the head of state.
As the much-awaited restoration work inside the cathedral of Notre Dame has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, the fence surrounding the construction site was brightened up by an exhibition of childrens drawings representing the beloved Parisian cathedral.
Uperio’s new Potain MDT 809 tower crane working on the Notre Dame Cathedral
Launched last year, the Potain MDT 809 is Uperio’s largest topless crane, offering a maximum capacity of 25 tonnes and an 80 metre jib. Since taking delivery late last year, the crane has been working on the reconstruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.