Tree Frog Forestry News

The Fire of Notre-Dame de Paris

By Caroline Harrap
France Today
May 16, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: International

…One of the nation’s most beloved landmarks, this masterpiece of medieval architecture dates back more than 850 years. …Since that time, the building has been the scene of… the crowning of King Henry VI of England in 1431, Napoleon’s coronation took place there in 1804. …Today, the cathedral is the most visited monument in France, even ahead of the Eiffel Tower, attracting some 12 million people a year. …Though the cathedral is still standing… it has been estimated that it will take at least four months to fully secure the site. …As well as creating a temporary roof, a huge wooden framework will be erected in order to support the main structure, while most of the stained-glass windows will need to be removed and put into storage.

Several leading restoration experts have expressed their desire to see the cathedral recreated as it was previously and the integrity of the building preserved. They have also pointed out that this would be the quickest and easiest way to restore the cathedral – an important consideration if it is to be rebuilt… in time for the 2024 Olympics. …Others have suggested that perhaps a compromise could be reached – where the integrity of the existing structure is respected but new materials are incorporated. For example, the roof could be constructed with steel, concrete or laminated beams – removing the difficulty and expense of finding enough large oak trees. “If laminated wood was used, it could also have the added benefit of making the building more eco-friendly,” adds Michael Heurtevant.

There’s a new sense of optimism that whatever form the renovation takes, France’s beloved cathedral will be back. There was perhaps no better symbol of this than the moment when the statue that once topped the fallen spire, a copper sculpture of a cockerel, was recovered from the rubble “battered but apparently restorable”. A phoenix from the ashes indeed.

Read More