Firefighters working with architects are still working in Notre Dame de Paris to stabilize the main structure which was made vulnerable by the collapse of the wooden roof.
Historians have claimed that rebuilding this timber framework as it was is impossible, as the original oaks came from an old-growth forest. They’re instead advocating for a more ‘modern’ approach that would have the benefit of rendering the roof safer in the future.
Unlike what has been said last night, some of the rosaces have in fact survived although they may need to be removed temporarily for repairs.
Architects and historians are confident that plenty of the cathedral remains to just rebuild it anew.
Thankfully the renovation scaffolding held up.
The spire that fell and crashed through the vaulted ceiling of Notre Dame had been in place since Viollet-le-Duc’s restoration work on the cathedral in the mid-19th century, and was a faithful reproduction of the battered original that had been taken down in the 18th century. The 16 bronze statues adorning it, in a stroke of luck, had been taken away during the restoration work just four days before and will be added to the new, third spire once reconstruction begins.
Viollet-le-Duc’s work had been commissioned by Louis-Philippe d’Orléans, king of the French in 1844 following increased national awareness of the poor state of the cathedral due to Victor Hugo’s book.
The cathedral was completely restored, with a gaggle of new statues, stained glass windows and structural additions that aimed to be faithful to the original plans. These renovations are responsible for most of what is famous today in Notre Dame, but unfortunately used lesser quality limestone and cement for the masonry due to the financial instability of the country pre Napoléon III’s industrial revolution, leading to further repairs being needed and finally undertook this year.
Hopefully this tragedy will inspire a new wave of restoration across the country, as it did 175 years ago.
Will they be able to determine the cause of the fire?
Criminal police has interrogated dozens already but all seems to be pointing at an accident.
Notre Dame de Paris in 1938
Notre Dame de Paris ,
Notre Dame de Paris during the Great War, heavily protected with sandbags.