The Notre Dame site will have restoration workers again soon, maybe

Notre Dame exterior
Photo: Denis Meyer

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.

When will work on Notre Dame resume?

Notre Dame by night before the fire
Photo: Livioandronico2013
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.

Trump considers buying Notre Dame again

Photo: UMA/
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?

So today (April 15th) is a year after the Notre Dame fire

Protection for missing roof
Photo: Brian Katz

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.

Notre Dame held a strange Good Friday service

Person in mark cycles past Notre Dame
Photo: Christophe Ena

Archbishop Michel Aupetit and three clergymen who accompanied him wore hard hats as they entered the damaged cathedral that is closed to the public and which he described as “half collapsed.” They then took off the helmets for the ceremony, in front of a large cross and the gaping hole in the cathedral’s roof.

Notre Dame came back to life,  if only for a fleeting instant,  in a Paris locked down against the coronavirus.

A small Good Friday service will be held at Notre Dame

Notre Dame in restoration
Photo: Reuters

But don’t attempt to go to Notre Dame.. With the current lock-down in France because of coronavirus the service will only be attended by seven people, although it will be televised in France.

The service will include a wreath rescued after the fire at Notre Dame almost a year ago.