Skip to main content

Builders back at Paris's Notre-Dame after Covid-19 shutdown

A view shows the restoration work at Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral, which was damaged in a devastating fire almost one year ago, ahead of Easter celebrations to be held under a lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus in France on April 7, 2020.
A view shows the restoration work at Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral, which was damaged in a devastating fire almost one year ago, ahead of Easter celebrations to be held under a lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus in France on April 7, 2020. REUTERS - GONZALO FUENTES

Construction workers were back at the burned shell of Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris on Monday, resuming the mammoth task of rebuilding after the coronavirus outbreak forced a pause of a month and a half.

Advertising

Fire engulfed the 850-year-old building on the banks of the River Seine on April 15 last year. The flames destroyed the spire and roof and, according to officials, came within 30 minutes of razing the cathedral to the ground.

French President Emmanuel Macron promised to rebuild within five years but work so far has been slow. Delays were caused by toxic lead released by the fire, winter storms and then by the COVID-19 epidemic which closed the site in March.

Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, the rector of the cathedral, said the work getting underway on Monday was to make the site compliant with social distancing rules so work proper could resume. He said showers for workers would be modified and changing rooms adapted to reduce the risk of infection.

"It's true that we have lost a month and a half," Chauvet told Reuters Television. But he said the project was on track to meet Macron's 5-year deadline.

"That doesn't mean that all of the restoration will be completed, but it means we will be able to enter again into the cathedral."

He said the first task, once work gets fully underway, was to remove the tangle of metal scaffolding that melted in the fire and enmeshed itself in the structure of the cathedral.

"When that's removed, we can say that the phase of making safe will have been completed," said Chauvet.

(REUTERS)

 

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning

Page not found

The content you requested does not exist or is not available anymore.