Notre Dame will be rebuilt as before

Notre Dame scaffolding
Photo: AP

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.

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Greenpeace hangs climate banner from crane by Notre Dame

Notre Dame crane
Photo: Reuters
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.

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Restoring the ‘magical’ windows of Notre Dame

Notre Dame glass in laboratory
Photo: Francois Mori
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.

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Notre Dame restoration may now be delayed until 2021

Notre Dame exterior

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.

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Workers begin to remove the tangle of melted scaffolding

Notre Dame forecourt
Photo: Thibault Camus

Workers suspended from ropes will be lowered into the charred remains of scaffolding that melted atop Notre Dame when the cathedral went up in flames and begin the delicate job of dismantling the 200 tons of metal.

An announcement that the work will start today (8th June) and last through the summer months came Sunday from the office overseeing the restoration of the centuries-old jewel of Gothic architecture ravaged by fire on 15th April, 2019.

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Notre Dame forecourt now open again

Notre Dame
Photo: Jeff Whyte

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.

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Gothic architecture past and present

Notre Dame exterior
Photo: Vicente Sargues

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.

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