The Notre Dame Cathedral wants to show off his symbolic needlealready rebuilt, for the 2024 Olympic Gamesalthough the opening of the temple after the 2019 fire will have to wait until December 8 of that year.
The goal is that “The spire of the cathedral is now free of scaffolding and is visible against the Paris sky” during the Games, announced the new head of the public body in charge of the reconstruction of the temple, Philippe Jost.
Paris will be the scene of the 2024 Games, which begin on July 26 and will last until August 11, and although the temple will not open until December, “it cannot be ignored” that “the key moment is approaching,” he added.
The reconstruction of Notre Dame – after the dramatic fire in April 2019 that destroyed its roof and spire and damaged the interior of the temple – opened its doors today on the occasion of the European Heritage Days.
Between demonstrations of traditional trades, many now in disuse, that are being necessary for the work, such as structural carpenters, glaziers, copper or lead experts or master stonemasons, the main people responsible for the process explained the progress of the process, which is in its final stretch.
The Notre Dame spire, one of the most prominent symbols of the cathedral, was installed during the 13th century construction, but dismantled in 1792 due to the deterioration of the lead-covered wood. It was relocated again in the important renovation carried out in the mid-19th century by the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc.
The essential part of the spire, that is, the wooden elements, will be installed by the end of the yearwithin a scaffolding that is already being built in the transept of the temple, explained François Augerresponsible for wood work.
Already in the first months of 2024, the work of lead coating and the installation of six small bellsas well as the placement of the rooster on the tipso that the needle is identical to the destroyed one.
The spire will be made of green oak, 14 to 18 meter tall trees that were felled in the winter of 2021-22.
Auger explained that since wood takes about ten years to dry, engineers have carried out technical analyzes to ensure that this drying process will not affect the stability of the spire once it is rebuilt.
Advanced fire fighting systems
The new Notre Dame will have a set of advanced fire fighting systemsstarting with a vaporization system in the roof carpentry area, as Jost explained.
The system will emit vaporized water in case the sensors detect the start of a fire.
In addition, the roof will be divided into watertight sections so that, even if a fire consolidates, it cannot spread to the rest of the roof.
Access has also been established so that firefighters can reach high areas that they could not approach before.
And finally there will be a security checkpoint in the presbytery, from which all alarms and diagnostic sensors will be controlled.
“They are very interesting innovations“, summarized Jost, who seek to ensure that the catastrophe of April 15, 2019 is not repeated.
Meanwhile, work continues in different areas inside the cathedral, where “we have almost finished the cleaning and restoration.”
Trenches are also being dug in the ground to install technical equipment, but “the interior is well advanced,” explained the person responsible for the project.