PARIS It’s raining. In a strong wind, an umbrella is equal to an empty one. The familiar Gothic church on the Seinejoki island has been standing covered by scaffolding and fences for the fifth year.
But nothing dims the cathedral’s magic. The flow of tourists around Notre-Dame is steady.
– It’s so wonderful, Albanian tourists Grete and Luciano sighing and snapping photos of each other in the rain.
They are now seeing Notre-Dame for the first time. In their opinion, the cathedral is the most beautiful building in Paris.
– It is important for our religion. It has history and stories. Esmeralda, Quasimodo and the whole love story, Grete and Luciano list.
They refer Victor Hugo to the novel, which tells the story of Quasimodo, the hunchbacked bell ringer of the cathedral, Esmeralda, the Romany girl, and Frollo, the archdeacon. There have been many film, musical and stage adaptations of the novel Notre-Dame de Paris.
A fire broke out in the roof structures of Notre-Dame in April 2019, and its exact cause has still not been determined. The central tower and roof collapsed, but the interior was spared complete destruction.
The fire caused great emotional reactions in Finland as well.
The French Dominique’s and Catherine’s according to “everyone” it was self-evident that the cathedral had to be repaired, no matter what it cost.
The church is a symbol of continuity and of France, which is why the fire was such an emotional event.
– Who in the world does not know Notre-Dame? In addition to culture and religion, it represents the destinies of humanity, hard work and even the loss of human lives, Dominique describes.
Work sites around France
Notre-Dame has been restored in parts across France by local small businesses and ateliers. The renovation is divided into three separate projects: the interior is cleaned and restored, the collapsed vaults and masonry are repaired, and the tower and roof are restored.
For example, the wooden central tower, which was recently installed with great effort, was built and designed mainly in Lorraine.
Notre-Dame’s great organ was not damaged in the fire, but it was covered in lead dust during the fire. All 8,000 pipes of the main organ are cleaned and installed one by one. The organ is restored in workshops in Corrèze, Hérault and Vaucluse.
It is already known in advance that the new cathedral is brighter and lighter inside than the old one.
Repairs have required a lot of special skills. Decoration employ miners, digital modellers, wood and coppersmiths, experts in stone construction and geology, workers at heights, installers of all kinds.
About a thousand professionals work on the construction project every day. Only half of them work in the cathedral itself.
The price tag will rise to somewhere around a billion or a thousand million euros. Almost the entire amount has been collected in donations.
The largest donations came immediately after the fire from the two richest families in France, From Arnault and From Pinault, a total of 300 million euros. Large donations also aroused indignation: companies are not enthusiastic about eliminating poverty, but huge sums of money are collected almost overnight.
Many surprises have been experienced during the construction work. Last year, the bottom of the church was revealed two sarcophagi that is, lead coffins with relatively well-preserved remains. Another of the bodies has been identified as a priest as Antoine de La Portewho died at the age of 83 in 1710.
One milestone was last week, when the carpenters who built the central tower of Notre-Dame, which rises to a height of 96 meters, finished their work. The tower is covered with lead and its decorative metal elements are fixed in place.
The Parisians who live nearby are have complained about the health hazards of lead. Some politicians are now calling for the suspension of construction work and a reconsideration of the use of building materials.
Like the old tower, it is planned to use 500 tons of lead for the coating. It was decided to make the new tower exactly identical to the old central tower built in the 19th century. Emmanuel Macron by decision.
Macron will visit Notre-Dame today, Friday, exactly one year to the cathedral’s planned opening. Him will be introduced construction site extensively.