The spire of the Notre Dame collapsing on April 15, 2019
On Monday the 16th of November the BBC programme Storyville took a look back at the raging fire of Notre Dame on the 15th of April 2019.
Over its 90-minute course, this minute-by-minute Storyville documentary brings us a parade of tears, prayers, peril, gargoyles, French President Macron, stern faces lit by flickering flames, an emotional Monsignor, desperate decisions, giant bells, the stalwart mayor of Paris, and lots of battle metaphors. A film director would make much of the scene where a firefighter eventually emerges clutching the precious Crown. Oh no! That’s the replica!
One issue on which everyone involved in the restoration project agrees is that Notre Dame is such an important part of French history, culture and religion it will be saved, no matter how much time it takes, or how much money it costs. It is central to French identity, and every effort will be made to save what can be saved, and reconstruct those parts that were destroyed by the fire.
The French court of auditors has published a report insisting that the donations received to help rebuild Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral must not be used to fund the public body that is overseeing the restoration, but rather to directly fund the cathedral’s reconstruction.
With precision and boundless energy, a team of carpenters used medieval techniques to raise up — by hand — a 3-ton oak truss Saturday in front of Notre Dame Cathedral, a replica of the wooden structures that were consumed in the landmark’s devastating April 2019 fire that also toppled its spire.
The truss mounted for the weekend display is a replica of truss No. 7, more advanced that the first six trusses, which were “more primitive,” said Florian Carpentier, site manager for the team from Carpenters Without Borders team that felled the trees and used axes to cut the logs for the wooden frame. With rope cables and a rustic pulley system, the carpenters slowly pulled the truss they built in July from the ground where it was laid out.
The archeological crypt of Notre Dame reopens on Wednesday, 9th September, with an exhibition retracing the cathedral’s turbulent history nearly 18 months after it was ravaged by fire.
The exhibition pays homage to French writer Victor Hugo and the architect Eugene Viollet-Le-Duc, the two men behind the resurrection of the cathedral in the 19th century.
A new study published in the journal GeoHealth has assessed the fallout from the blaze and found that the 460 tons of lead tiles on the roof of Notre Dame cathedral triggered a 20-fold increase in airborne lead concentrations in neighboring Paris at a distance of 31 miles from the fire.
A new virtual reality (VR) experience about the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris takes visitors into the cathedral both before, during and after the April 2019 fire.
Rebuilding Notre Dame begins by recounting the history of the gothic cathedral with close-ups of its gargoyles, bells and sacristy alongside the rector Patrick Chauvet talking about his sense of vocation. This footage was made three months prior to the fire for a Targo documentary on Chauvet.
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.