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  • During a restoration campaign in 2019, a fire broke out in the cathedral’s attic, and the massive blaze destroyed most of the roof, 19th-century spire, and some of the rib vaulting.

    During a restoration campaign in 2019, a fire broke out in the cathedral’s attic, and the massive blaze destroyed most of the roof, 19th-century spire, and some of the rib vaulting. | Photo: Reuters

Published 25 December 2019

Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, head of the worldwide famous Parisian church, told of the fragility of the building and that the vaults are crucial to keep the enormous stone structure standing.

 

There is "a 50% chance" that the structure of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, cannot be completely saved because the scaffolding that was installed before the fire that brought down a large part of the building last April 15th could now fall on the vaults.

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Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, head of the centenary church, told News Agency AP that "the building is still very fragile" and expressed his "pain" because, for the first time since the French Revolution, he could not celebrate the Mass of the Rooster there.

The efforts to mitigate the damage caused by the flames in the roof frame and the central needle of the 850-year-old Parisian cathedral, take into account that the vaults are crucial to keeping the enormous stone structure standing.

Russia Today reports that around 50,000 tubes form the scaffolding that crossed the back of the building when the disaster occurred and some were damaged, so removing those pieces without affecting the rest of the structure is one of the most complex tasks.

The most shocking photos of the fire in Notre Dame. The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris represents centuries of history.

"We need to completely remove the scaffolding so that the building is safe, so probably in 2021 we will begin the restoration of the cathedral" in order to "assess the condition" of the property and decide "the number of stones that will be removed and replaced", Chauvet detailed.

It is estimated that in 2022, Notre Dame cathedral may be safe enough to allow people to enter, but its complete restoration will take longer. French president, Emmanuel Macron, expressed his wish that it be completed when Paris welcomes the 2024 Olympic Games.

Notre-Dame Cathedral it`s the most famous of the Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages and is distinguished for its size, antiquity, and architectural interest. It was built between 1163-1345. Throughout the centuries the magnificent building suffered damage and deterioration and after the French Revolution, it was rescued from possible destruction by Napoleon, who crowned himself emperor of the French in the cathedral in 1804.

Notre-Dame underwent major restorations by the French architect Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc in the mid-19th century. The popularity of Victor Hugo’s historical novel Notre-Dame de Paris (1831), was said to have inspired the renovations.

However, during a restoration campaign in 2019, a fire broke out in the cathedral’s attic, and the massive blaze destroyed most of the roof, Viollet-le-Duc’s 19th-century spire, and some of the rib vaulting.

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