The restoration work aims to fulfill President Emmanuel Macron’s plan of Notre Dame cathedral reopening five years after it was destroyed by fire. According to the French authorities, this process of Notre Dame cathedral restoration will be completed in 2024.
The cathedral is expected to reopen by the time of the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Stabilizing the 850-year-old cathedral was a daunting task. The French authorities had to dismantle the scaffolding and clear the rubbish piled up on the floor. General Jean-Louis Jorgeline, former chief of staff of the army, was made responsible for the Notre Dame cathedral restoration.
“We officially declare that the cathedral is now saved, that it is strong on its columns, that its walls are strong,” General Jorgeline, who heads the government’s working group on the restoration of Notre Dame, told French BFM-TV.
A task force called Rebâtir Notre-Dame de Paris, or Rebuild Notre-Dame, said on Facebook that Notre Dame Cathedral Paris will open soon in 2024, which is in line with Mr. Paris was supposed to host the Summer Olympics.
Refurbishment work will begin in the next few months, the statement said. Friends of Notre Dame de Paris, which is helping Notre Dame cathedral restoration is collecting donations to restore dozens of gargoyles, statues, and paintings from the cathedral.
People around the world watched the events of April 15, 2019, and it was like in a horror movie. An irreplaceable symbol of French heritage, the iconic gothic church was dangerously close to collapse, an investigation by the New York Times showed.
Donations for Notre Dame cathedral restoration poured in from all over the world, including some of France’s wealthiest families. A few days after the fire, individuals, companies, and institutions donated or pledged € 845 million, about $ 950 million, to rebuild the damaged iconic gothic church.
Notre Dame cathedral restoration caused a flurry of controversy over the new design of the cathedral. Last year, Mr. Macron scrapped his unpopular idea of building a modern spire atop the cathedral.
Investigators have yet to say what caused the fire, but they focused on two theories: a short circuit near the spire and the negligence of workers doing repairs, a theory fueled by the discovery of cigarette butts on scaffolding.
Security experts in Notre Dame have been criticized for misjudging how quickly the flames can ignite and spread through the cathedral. An investigation has shown that the smoke emanating from Notre Dame Cathedral Paris cathedral carries a hidden danger.
Reconstruction of Notre Dame: what ecologists do not like
The fire that happened two years ago shook the whole of France and the whole world. Thousands of people gathered that evening at this UNESCO World Heritage Site, watching in horror as the flames engulf the medieval building and how, in the end, the ignited temple spire collapses, a significant part of the roof burns, and the vaults of the central nave are severely damaged.
President Macron then promised that the historical and cultural monument would be restored in five years. At first, the head of the French state advocated making the new spire of the cathedral more modern, but in the end, he yielded to experts who called for the preservation of the Ville-le-Duc style. Shortly after the fire, both large companies and small investors pledged to allocate a total of about a billion euros for the reconstruction. Since then, 833 million euros have already been received from this amount.
To restore Notre Dame Cathedral with historical accuracy, oak wood is needed. According to the agreement, half of the trees needed for the reconstruction are transferred by state-owned forestry enterprises, and the other half – by the owners of private forest lands.
After felling, the trunks must be dried for 12-18 months – until the moisture contained in the wood has evaporated by about 30 percent.
It`s all about centuries-old trees, which sooner or later would still be on the list of oak trees to be cut down, emphasizes Guillaume Larrier, an official representative of the French National Forestry Administration (ONF).
France is one of the countries with the most stringent forest management regulations and careful control over how trees are felled. However, the cutting down of trees for the benefit of Notre Dame cathedral has angered environmentalists – in particular, Jacqui Bonmain, chairman of the environmental organization Robin des Bois.
Notre Dame Cathedral is a real Gothic legend, frozen in stone and drowning in the most incredible mysterious stories. Its architecture is truly unique and inimitable.
In any case, the reconstruction of this truly monumental iconic gothic church is of great importance for the cultural life of not only France but the whole world.