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WorldParis Notre Dame cathedral rebuilding plans begin; fire-damaged landmark still attracts tourists

04:25  15 may  2019
04:25  15 may  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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Notre Dame cathedral in Paris looks like it did just before the flames appeared: a construction site. Rebuilding plans have begun and tourists visit. PARIS – The locals and tourists are back at the tables outside Le Quasimodo Notre Dame , the cafe’s orange awning competing with the conical pink

The massive fire that ripped through Paris ' Notre Dame Cathedral , collapsing the roof and spire Key Points. French President Emmanuel Macron vowed Tuesday to rebuild the heavily damaged symbol of France Scaffolding which was erected for the renovation of the landmark Notre - Dame Cathedral

The locals and tourists are back at the tables outside Le Quasimodo Notre Dame, the cafe’s orange awning competing with the conical pink blossoms of the flowering horse chestnut tres shading Rue d’Arcole.

Down the block, people cluster around the frozen showcases of the Amorino ice cream shop.

Steps away, souvenir stores are overflowing with the usual assortments of Paris trinkets, from buckets of Eiffel Towers in varying colours and sizes to snow globes jammed with the city’s landmarks.

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A major fire erupted at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday. The cathedral , which was Firefighters managed to save the cathedral 's landmark rectangular towers from the blaze, but a Construction of Notre Dame began in 1163 during the reign of King Louis VII and was completed in

PARIS (Reuters) - A massive fire consumed Notre - Dame Cathedral on Monday, gutting the roof of the Paris landmark and stunning France and the world, though firefighters saved the main bell towers and outer walls from collapse before bringing the blaze under control. Flames that began in the early

But at the next corner, another cafe, Aux Tours de Notre Dame, is dark and silent. A metal police barrier, tended by well-armed gendarmes, blocks the street from its intersection with Rue de Cloitre-Notre-Dame and the great open plaza in front of Notre Dame Cathedral.

At the barrier, languages from the corners of the earth mingle amidst the universal salutes of iPhone cameras, all aimed at the sand-colored twin towers of Paris’s wounded icon, ravaged by a raging roof fire on April 15 that sent clouds of smoke across the French capital and stunning images across television screens around the world.

This corner is the closest people can get to the mute and scarred cathedral, whose celebrated bells are not ringing and whose instantly recognisable bulk looms now in the night shadows instead of being brightly illuminated.

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But firefighters who worked through the night managed to save the Paris landmark 's main stone structure, including its two towers. Thoughts are now turning to how Notre - Dame will be rebuilt . French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to reconstruct the historic building even as the fire still

The cathedral , one of Paris 's most famous landmarks , lost its spire and roof, but still has its He pledged that Notre - Dame would be rebuilt . He called the structure "a part of us “ Notre - Dame is our sister, it is so sad, we are all mourning — Parisians , French people, tourists , the Chinese, the whole

Notre Dame looks once again, as it did just before the flames appeared, like a construction site.

Cranes and cherry-pickers arch over the damaged building as workers assess the stability of the walls and take steps to preserve the cathedral as it is while public officials, engineers, architects and the public debate and map a path for the building’s future.

Paris Notre Dame cathedral rebuilding plans begin; fire-damaged landmark still attracts tourists © Provided by USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. Cranes work at Notre Dame cathedral, in Paris, Thursday, April 25, 2019. French police scientists were starting to examine Notre Dame Cathedral on Thursday for the first time since last week's devastating fire.

The government has announced an international competition for designs for a restored Notre Dame and about $US1 billion ($AU1.4 billion) has been pledged for the work.

Surprisingly, there is no smell of smoke on the Ile de la Cite, the island neighbourhood that is home to Notre Dame. It’s the same just across the River Seine, where cafes and shops, including the famed Shakespeare and Company bookstore, look out on the cathedral’s southern side.

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Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz told reporters on Tuesday that there is no evidence of arson in the blaze and that they' re working on the assumption the The famed rose windows at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris appear to have survived the fire , cathedral spokesman André Finot said Tuesday, April 16, 2019.

Notre Dame before and after. Tourists gather near the cathedral and then seen afterwards. Some €600m pledged in global fundraising drive to rebuild Notre Dame . But even more will be needed as potential cost of work is already estimated at several billion pounds.

While stunned onlookers cried on the night of the heartbreaking fire, there are few tears now – just curiosity and the urge to take pictures. Or, in the alternative, to get on with life in Paris.

The bouquinistes are selling their books, photos, old magazines and prints from their forest-green boxes perched on the walls along the Seine without taking advantage of the tragedy. Their posters and prints show Notre Dame as people knew it before April 15.

“Yes, that is nice,” one bookseller said to a browser looking at a line-drawing of the cathedral. There was no mention of the fire.

Only in a few shops near Notre Dame are there t-shirts being sold to raise money for the restoration. “Rebattisons Ensemble #rebuildnotredame” (“Rebuilding Together”), the shirts say. Five euros (AU$8) of the 17-euro ($AU27) price tag are being donated to the restoration.

French President Emmanuel Macron said after the tragedy that Notre Dame, built between the 12th and 14th centuries, could return to its former majesty in five years, which would coincide with Paris hosting the 2024 Olympics.

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Others who know the intricacies of maintaining and repairing similar ancient monuments estimated Notre Dame could be facing 10 to 15 years of work.

“It will take us four months to actually consolidate the cathedral,” Gilles de Laage and Frederic Letoffe, co-presidents of a company involved in the work to assess the fire damage and stabilize the structure, said at an April 26 press conference.

The immediate work is going to be carried out in five stages, according to de Laage and Letoffe, quoted in the Paris newspaper Le Parisien.

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The first stage is already visible and completed: the full stretch of the roof is covered in weather-proof sheeting to keep the elements from causing further damage. A more permanent shield – officials referred to it as an umbrella – will be constructed later.

The next stage, which began with the first, is to strengthen the outer walls where the roof is gone. Especially on the outer cathedral gables on the north and south transepts, the walls now are exposed to wind and rain. Workers intend to build wooden supports to reinforce those walls.

“Notre Dame would not be able to withstand winds over 90 kilometres an hour,” Paulo Vannucci, an engineer with France’s National Center for Scientific Research, was quoted as saying.

Workers recently could be seen removing some pieces of Gothic ornamentation to relieve weight on the walls.

A large wooden floor is slated to be constructed above the old roof area as the third stage of work.

Next, the 30 large, stained-glass windows around the main part of the cathedral, all of which survived the flames, will be removed. The larger rosette windows are likely to be shielded in place.

The massive scaffolding that had been enveloping part of Notre Dame for repairs to the 19th-century spire – which fell during the conflagration – remains in place. Portions that were subjected to temperatures as high as 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit (816 celsius) are twisted and, in some places, gone.

But experts think much of the scaffolding, which rises nearly 200 feet  (61 metres) above the ground, can be used later. “The structure does not carry any danger. It is not at risk of falling,” Laage and Letoffe told the French media.

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As the work outside proceeds, workers will use a robot to clear the debris that penetrated the inner roof and fell into the cathedral, a safety precaution.

And what about the roof? Should it be rebuilt exactly as it was, capped by the Gothic spire and the weathervane with the rooster?

A slight majority of French adults, 54%, favour restoring Notre Dame to its original appearance, according to a YouGov poll taken at the end of last month for Le HuffPost and CNews. Only 25% think the cathedral should incorporate an “architectural gesture,” while 21%, incredibly, had no opinion.

Franck Riester, France’s minister of culture, told LCI television that nothing would be done secretly. The people “will be able to express themselves,” he promised.

“Then we will decide after a great debate and great consultation,” Riester said.

Architects and designers already are floating imaginative ideas for a newer-looking cathedral, including proposals for a massive, glass-covered conservatory; an open roof garden; a roof and spire crafted entirely in stained glass; a roof and spire made of Baccarat crystal; and a huge metal spire taller than Notre Dame itself.

Be careful and take it slowly, nearly 1,200 French architects, academics and historical experts advised in an April 29 letter to Macron in the Paris newspaper Le Figaro.

"Let's not erase the complexity of the thought that must surround this site behind a display of efficiency," the letter warned. "Let's take the time to find the right path and then, yes, set an ambitious deadline for an exemplary restoration.”

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Paris Notre Dame cathedral rebuilding plans begin; fire-damaged landmark still attracts tourists
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