Scaffolding Comes Off Notre-Dame Cathedral

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Scaffolding Comes Off Notre-Dame Cathedral

Scaffolding Comes Off Notre-Dame Cathedral

The reconstruction of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris has recently reached a turning point after the horrific blaze that brought down the spire in 2019.

Millions watched on in horror on the banks of the River Seine as a fire erupted on the roof of the cathedral, which was already undergoing renovation work.

As a result, the scaffolding that was supporting the spire melted and twisted in the fire, but the final portions of this scaffolding have now been removed, leading French Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot to declare the landmark “saved” at long last.

The removal of the tangled mass of scaffolding was considered dangerous, and some experts feared that it could cause more of the Gothic monument to fall down, but the wait is now over.

Before the damaging scaffolding could be removed, workers had to enclose them all within a network of new scaffolding, to ensure that the mangled mesh of metal tubing would not move. A metal grid was erected so construction workers could be lowered in by ropes and carefully cut the tubes apart.

Even the collapse of one single piece could have threatened the entire weakened edifice, but the attempts were successful. Sections of scaffolding were lifted out by a towering 80-metre crane, and the structure is now stabilised.

“The threat this scaffolding posed to the cathedral has been lifted,” said Jean-Louis Georgelin, the army general overseeing the restoration. “Now we can tackle the final safeguarding steps,” he said.

“Notre-Dame is saved, we know that as of today,” said Bachelot. “The fear over the solidity of the structure is definitively behind us, but the path remains long and the phase of securing and consolidating will continue until summer 2021.”

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