Notre Dame de Paris damage and reconstruction

Notre Dame de Paris caught fire this Monday April 15, 2019. After several hours fighting against the fire and the collapse of the spire, Paris fire brigade managed to save Paris historic monument. Built in 1163 on the Ile de la Cité de Paris, the monument was under renovation work.

Notre Dame de Paris has caught fire. It’s a picture Parisians and tourists never imagined and that will mark Monday April 15, 2019. The fire in Notre Dame broke down towards 6:50 p.m. and seems to have reached the spire of the millenary old monument currently under renovation work.

EDIT: the fire is under control, ministers have meet at 11 a.m. in Matignon, around Edouard Philippe in order to prepare a "reconstruction plan" for Notre Dame de Paris and the Fondation du patrimoine has launched a major nest egg.

For several years, Paris Cathedral has been deteriorating: the attic and the inside of the cathedral suffer from the erosion and the arches supporting the vault started to not be able anymore to support the weight of the structure and jeopardize the future of the monument.

The tragic story starts at 6:50 p.m., when the fire breaks down in the attic of the currently under work cathedral. Really quickly, Paris firefighters step in to save Paris historic monument but can't get the flames under control.

Shocking moment in Paris when at 7:56 p.m., a part of Notre Dame spire collapses. The rest of the spire and the roof will collapse later in the evening.

Finally, towards 10 p.m., the fire is controlled. The major damages are not as serious as feared after the fire. The spire and the roofing went up in smoke, Notre Dame glass-stained windows have been broken, but the South rose stained-glass window seems to have been spared, so does the altar. Thanks to a human chain made by Paris fire brigade, policemen and municipal officers, Notre Dame works have been saved in time!

Some journalists have been allowed to follow president Emmanuel Macron and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo inside the cathedral at midnight.

The tweet reads: The entire roof can fall at any time...

On the radio, on France inter, the Minister of cultur has explained: "The main structure has been spared but it's still very unsteady. The situation is still precarious. Last night, two thirds of the roofing went up in smoke, the spire collapsed inside, creating a whole in the vault. Last night, the transept crossing collapsed so did a main part of the north transept."

He continued: "Firefighters and architects who are on the spot are worried because of the upper part of the vault, there's still water, burnt out wood saturated with water and that weighs a lot. All this is very fragile and it has been built with such finess that as soon as a part collapses, it can jeopardize the entire construction."

As for Paris mayor, Anne Hidalgo, she said: "It's more than a monument we lost, it's a part of Paris soul, a part of ourselves. Notre Dame is a landmark in the whole world. Every Parisian, every French and all lovers of Paris cry this emblem of our common history. But from our motto, we will draw the strength to rise. Fluctuat nec mergitur".

Started in July 2018, the works were said to last twenty years and cost at least 150 million euros. After this tragic Monday, the budget won’t be the same.

If big nest eggs are multiplying, including the La Fondation du patrimoine nest egg, the Arnault family (LVMH) has announced a "200-million euros donation" and the Pinault family a donation of 100 million euros of "emergency help to help the archbishopric to do the first works" to rebuilt the cathedral, the region president Valérie Pécresse has announced Tuesday.

Tuesday April 16, 2019, ministers have meet at 11 a.m. in Matignon, around Edouard Philippe in order to prepare a "reconstruction plan" for Notre Dame de Paris. The local authorities are now making every effort to prepare the reconstruction of the cathedral.

In conclusion, Anne Hidalgo explains: "In 2024, Paris will welcome the whole world for the Olympics and the Paralympics. We have to do everything we need to make the Notre-Dame Cathedral find its former glory again on the occasion."

Elodie D.
Last updated on 16 April 2019

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Cathédrale Notre-Dame
75004 Paris 4

commun Métro - RER :
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- Hôtel de Ville (1,11)
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