During a structure fire, lead fumes are produced when lead or lead-containing materials are heated to temperatures above 500° C. At these temperatures, lead vapour is released in the form of highly toxic lead oxide fumes. This vapour then condenses into solid fume particles which are released into the atmosphere.
Although the sheer volume of lead that vaporized in the Notre Dame fire was unique, fire restoration practitioners need to be aware of the likelihood that lead may be present in any fire-damaged structure, especially those built after 1978.
Notre Dame Cathedral is finally stable and secure enough for artisans to start rebuilding it, more than two years after the shocking fire that tore through its roof, knocked down its spire and threatened to bring the rest of the medieval monument down, too.
The government agency overseeing the reconstruction announced in a statement Saturday that the works to secure the structure — which began the day after the April 15, 2019 fire — are at last complete.
The donation was made on September 16th during a Mass celebrated by Washington Cardinal Wilton Gregory in the National Shrine’s Crypt Church in the USA capital, Washington, D.C.
Noting that Notre Dame in Paris “has welcomed countless millions of people for centuries – some have actually been saints while others were great sinners,” Cardinal Gregory said, “may our gift assist the people of Paris in restoring a place of prayer and beauty for those who visit that world-famous shrine in the centuries that will follow.”
“I started getting calls as soon as the fire was put out,” said Rick Brown, standing on the lawn at Catholic University the other day. Brown and his wife, Laura, are the co-founders of Handshouse Studio in the USA, an educational non profit organisation that replicates large historical objects using the precise techniques with which they were built.
In 2011, he led a trip to Poland to rebuild by hand the Gwoździec synagogue, raised in the 17th century and then razed by the Nazis. This time, the calls were about a much bigger house of worship: the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris.
In the nave of Notre Dame cathedral, huge scaffolding supports a working floor, some thirty-three metres high. It is in this space that craftsmen bustle about supporting the sexpartite vaults of the building, each resting on six pillars.
This “timbering” of the parts damaged in the April 15, 2019 fire was launched in March 2021: several half-hangers, strictly conforming to the shape of the vaults, and each weighing more than 1.6 tons, have already been installed.
Uperio’s new Potain MDT 809 tower crane working on the Notre Dame Cathedral
There is now a legal action over worrying lead levels around Notre Dame Cathedral.
Lawyers for a branch of one of the country’s most powerful unions, which has joined forced with a health association and local residents, have submitted a legal case for “endangering life … by persons unknown”.
The plaintiffs accuse the authorities of “grave negligence”, which they say exposed city dwellers, particularly children and those working to restore the cathedral, to dangerous levels of toxic lead dust.
The Catholic diocese of Paris said on Monday it was seeking up to €6 million to restore and modernise the interior of Notre Dame cathedral, nearly destroyed by a massive fire two years ago.
The diocese launched a fundraising drive looking for €5-€6 million to complete the work.
President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to complete the monument’s restoration for 2024, and more than €800 million has already been received or pledged from private and corporate donors for the painstaking rebuild of the 13th-century gothic masterpiece.
The Paris prefecture announced on Monday that it would temporarily close the square in front of the fire-ravaged Notre Dame cathedral due to a “concentration of lead-laced dust above the usual level for Paris”.
The square in front of the cathedral reopened on March 31st 2020, but the cathedral itself remains closed while works are ongoing to restore it.
A handbag from the Notre Dame x Sophie Cano collection.
Notre Dame now has an official handbag collaboration.
Improbable fashion collaborations just keep coming, the latest being a crafty Parisian accessories brand with what is likely the most famous cathedral in the world.
Cue the Notre Dame Sophie Cano Paris collection, to be sold exclusively on the Notre Dame de Paris website as well as its concept store, not far from the medieval Catholic cathedral.
It is not clear yet if any of the money from bag sales will be donated to the cathedral reconstruction following the massive fire in April 2019.
The spire of the Notre Dame collapsing on April 15, 2019
“Since the Second World War, no Gothic cathedral of this magnitude has ever been rebuilt, so this series is not just about science or the history of architecture, it is about an extraordinary human effort,” said the producer, Christine Le Goff.
In addition to the exclusive access to the cathedral and its surroundings, “Raising Notre Dame” will also show the constitution of all the cathedral’s scans and data throughout time, as well as original photos, architectural plans and notes compiled during the 19th century, explained Le Goff.