How is the meticulous work of reconstruction of the Cathedral of Notre Dame

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The work of stonemasons, carpenters, stone carvers, restorers and workers at height began to restore the temple.

The reconstruction works of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris have a enormous complexity Little known that was exposed this Saturday with a live television broadcast, which showed the challenge of trying to return a temple from the Middle Ages to its previous splendor after the fierce fire suffered in April 2019.

Stonemasons, carpenters, stone carvers, restorers, scaffolding specialists and workers at heights continue their complex work on a project scheduled for completion in spring 2024, just five years after the serious fire.

The cathedral suffered a tragic fire on April 15, 2019, apparently caused by restoration works, and the incident destroyed the roof and the famous spire of the temple, in addition to causing significant damage to the entire historic building.

The public body “Reconstruct Notre Dame” and the cultural television channel Arte joined this Saturday to show live Through various social networks and from the inside, how are the restoration works, with interviews with managers and workers, on the occasion of the European Days of Cultural Heritage.

“Considerable work has been done in a year and a half “General Jean-Louis Georgelin, president of the institution, said during the broadcast.

Although the works were stopped Between March 16 and April 27 due to confinement due to the pandemic, Georgelin hoped to complete the restoration on time.

He also stressed the importance of workers in traditional trades little recognized in these modern times, such as stonemasons, stone carvers or glaziers, who are “extremely proud” to show the value of their skills.

The works are possible thanks to a scaffolding system totaling 5,500 pieces, with a workspace of 2,000 square meters.

The concern for safety is total, not only for the possible fall of unstable elements (already consolidated) or for accidents, but also to prevent contamination by lead, a metal very present in the cathedral, explains Georgelin.

One of the most striking chapters of these works is being the disassembly of the huge organ of the cathedral, of 8,000 tubes, which, although they were not affected by the flames, did suffer the entry of ashes.

Disassembling the tubes for cleaning, which began in August, is “impressive work” and constitutes “a work within the work”explained Jonathan Truillet, Deputy Head of Operations.

The objective is rebuild damaged or destroyed items as they were originally, especially the famous 96 meter high spire – which had 250 tons of lead.

He budget total exceeds 900 million euros, of which at least 160 million were allocated to the first consolidation and protection works.

The works have the valuable contribution of 35 workers at height (called “ropeists”), specialists who work hanging from cables, like climbers, and perform all kinds of tasks.

Your job is to help ensure the safety of the walls and other architectural elements, as well as “helping other workers and reaching where traditional means cannot reach,” says Xavier Rodríguez, both a specialist and also president of the Jarnias company.

The final person in charge of the works is Philippe Villeneuve, chief architect of historical monuments of France, who emphasizes that Notre Dame has become “a archaeological site co extraordinary thanks to this accident “, since” each piece “is recovered” for the analysis of the experts “.


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