Before the fire, the cathedral welcomed approximately 12 million visitors, 2,400 offices, and 150 concerts per year.
On April 15, 2019, a massive fire devastated this masterpiece of Gothic art, leaving its frame, its famous spire, its clock and a part of its vault engulfed in flames. World.
The gaps left in the building have given way to a forest of scaffolding that also covers its sides.
The Titanic project began in April 2019 with the “securing” of the building (the bending of 28 flying buttresses, removal of the scaffolding encircling the spire, clearing of debris, 450 tons of lead partially vaporized). ..) a “major phase” under high security that was completed in the summer of 2021 at a total cost of EUR 151 million.
According to the public establishment responsible for the restoration project, the disaster had sparked an unprecedented outpouring of generosity so far, with nearly 844 million euros in donations collected from 340,000 donors from 150 countries.
In parallel with the work in progress at the cathedral, restoration work continues in craft workshops throughout France.
The organ, dating from 1733 and the largest in France, survived the fire but was covered in lead dust. It has been destroyed like the stained glass windows, and is being cleaned like 22 large-format paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries, while many of the sculptures have already been restored, the Cité de Paris in Paris. L’architecture et du Patrimoine are on display. ,
We will have to wait a little longer for the medieval structure of the nave and choir with a solid oak wooden frame and the launch of reconstruction work on the summit of Violet-le-Duc, which should dawn in the sky. Paris from the spring of 2023, according to the public establishment.
A thousand oaks from public and private forests have already been sighted in anticipation.
Another important phase of the construction site should begin on Wednesday: the extraction of stones that will make it possible to rebuild destroyed or damaged vaults.
Between September 2020 and April 2021 two test sites were carried out in the cathedral’s inner chapel, 24 in total, to define the techniques that would restore them to their original colours.
In early March, preventive excavations reserved a major surprise at the heart of the site: the discovery of a lead sarcophagus and the remains of the cathedral’s old rood screen from the 14th century, a stone platform that separated the liturgical choir from the nave and the faithful. Of.
The diocese intends to take advantage of the restoration of Notre-Dame to innovate its interior design by integrating contemporary art from older masters such as the Bench Mobiles to replace the Le Nan brothers or Charles Le Brun, light at face level, secular chairs. life can be given. and biblical phrases projected on the walls.
The crypt below the cathedral should also serve as a storage space with easy access by installing an elevator.
When they return to the famous cathedral in 2024, tourists and worshipers will now enter through the large central door, not the side doors. They would benefit from a refined course around the central axis leading from the navel to the choir.