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.

So, no new news, but…

Photo: Tim Brown

I reached 59 years old on Monday and all the news is about coronavirus and the huge number that will likely die.

Work on the restoration of Notre Dame has been paused because of the virus.

We live, we die. Some of us die horrible, tragic deaths, others die peacefully.

Smile and laugh if you can, humour is good medicine.


Scientists are leading Notre Dame’s restoration

The damaged roof of Notre Dame
Photo: Patrick Zachmann
The lead roof melted into jagged stalactites

At the Historical Monuments Research Laboratory, the laboratory tasked with conserving all the nation’s monuments, director Aline Magnien and her 22 colleagues apply techniques from geology to metallurgy as they evaluate the condition of Notre Dame’s stone, mortar, glass, paint, and metal.

A hero of Notre Dame

The robot Colossus
Colossus is about 1.6 m long, 78 cm wide and 76 cm tall. It weighs 500 kg empty.

In front of the eyes of an aghast public, the spire of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris collapses. To firefighters, this isn’t just a cultural tragedy, the collapse means that the structure of the church is further destabilized by the flames. From this point on, entering the cathedral to fight the fire from within is very dangerous. The incident commander decides to send the robot Colossus into the cathedral.

During the fire of Notre Dame, the fire hose of the robot was used to keep the inner walls of the church and the structural elements of the building wet and prevent the fire from spreading. Via a supply hose, the robot was provided with almost 3,000 liters of water per minute – without the slightest danger to human personnel. Colossus is operated via a remote-control module with a display.

And now there will be a mini-series about the fire at Notre Dame

Notre Dame fire exterior
Photo: Lori Hinant

William Boyd, the award-winning British novelist and screenwriter of “Chaplin” and “Any Human Heart,” is set to write the screenplay of a high-profile miniseries centred on the devastating fire that ripped through Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral in April 2019. The multi-layered narrative will be told from multiple perspectives and is to shed light on what triggered the fire and how firefighters and police officers battled to save the iconic cathedral from total destruction.