Posts tagged with "Notre Dame Cathedral":

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Restoration work resumes at Notre Dame but spire replacement plans remain at a standstill

It’s been just over one year since a massive structural fire raged through Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral, a moment that both deflated the collective spirit of France and horrified those across the world who have either visited the 850-year-old edifice or admired its emblematic beauty from afar. And despite contamination- and global pandemic-prompted work stoppages and some light Gallic sass-slinging, Notre Dame is still on track to be open to the public by 2024. One major sticking point, however, continues to be the cathedral’s toppled spire, a nearly 300-foot-tall Paris landmark that was designed in the mid-19th century by thirty-year-old architect Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc as a replacement for an earlier, storm-beaten spire that was removed several decades before. The contentious issue at hand is the question of whether or not the spire that will eventually replace Viollet-le-Duc’s famed flèche should be a faithful replica of the barbed original or something that embraces a reverent but more modern design. The latter route, one very much not endorsed by preservation groups and the French Senate, was initially promoted by the administration of French President Emmanuel Macron. “Since the spire wasn't part of the original cathedral, the President of the Republic hopes there will be some reflection and a contemporary architectural gesture might be envisaged,” read a statement released by the Élysée Palace shortly after the fire. Yet as reported by The Art Newspaper, plans to formally move forward with an international design competition seeking out new spire designs, which was first announced by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, have apparently stalled. “The international competition will allow us to ask the question of whether we should even re-create the spire as it was conceived by Viollet-le-Duc,” Philippe said at a press conference held two days after the tragic fire. “Or if, as is often the case in the evolution of heritage, we should endow Notre Dame with a new spire.” Or at least that’s according to acclaimed U.K.-based Flemish artist Wim Delvoye, who says church officials have “so far snubbed” his own proposed fireproof design. Per The Art Newspaper, Delvoye, known for, among other things, creating neo-gothic sculptures fabricated from laser-cut steel, announced his intention to enter the competition shortly after it was announced, and immediately set out to work on designing a first proposal with his team. Other designers and architects also quickly sprung into action with some, ahem, interesting proposals although, as hinted at by Delvoye, the competition may now be at a standstill. “The longer the French wait to decide—or to start a competition—the more they will need to rely on my technique and design [involving] laser-cut Corten steel,” he said. “They are going to discuss [the spire design] for ten years.” According to The Art Newspaper, France’s National Commission for Architecture and Heritage is not expected to furnish design recommendations for the replacement spire to the Ministry of Culture until later this year.
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Officials still anticipate 2024 Notre Dame reopening date despite COVID-19 pause

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the inferno-seen-around-the-globe that ravaged Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. All things considered, Parisian officials will not hold a formal organized event or encourage any mass gatherings to mark one of the most dispiriting structural fires in recent memory. However, the medieval cathedral’s 13-ton bourdon bell, Emmanuel, tolled this evening for only the second time since the blaze on April 15, 2019, gutted the 850-year-old Gothic edifice regarded as the “Soul of France.” At 8:00 p.m. GMT, Emmanuel rang from the cathedral’s south tower in a bit of timing that coincides not only with the time that the cathedrals’ iconic spire toppled but also with the chorus of raucous cheers and applause that fill the streets of Paris nightly in recognition of the front line responders battling the coronavirus. As noted by Reuters, the tolling is in tribute to both Notre Dame's remarkable resilience and the medical professionals risking their lives on a daily basis during the pandemic. (As of this writing, 15,729 people have succumbed to the virus across France.) As for the cathedral’s aforementioned resilience, it is indeed still standing tall over Ile de la Cité, although hidden beneath fire-damaged scaffolding and in an increasingly fragile and vulnerable state. As the Associated Press wrote of Notre Dame’s present state in somewhat purple terms: “Notre Dame Cathedral stands crippled and alone, locked in a dangerous web of warped scaffolding one year after a cataclysmic fire gutted its interior, toppled its famous spire, and horrified the world.” Despite a delay in restoration work of unforeseen length due to the coronavirus, officials are confident that Notre Dame will open its doors and more closely resemble its former self by 2024, a just-ahead-of-the-Summer-Olympics completion date promised by French President Emmanuel Macron. Undeterred by pauses, pandemic-related or otherwise, Jean-Louis Georgelin, the retired army general charged with overseeing the cathedral’s restoration, is optimistic that the five-year restoration plan will not drag out any further. “If everyone rolls up their sleeves and the work is well planned, it is conceivable that returning the cathedral to a place of worship within five years will not be an impossible feat,” the Guardian reported Georgelin as saying. “Obviously, the area around the cathedral will be far from finished, and perhaps the spire will not be completed, but the cathedral will once again be a place of worship and this is our aim.” All work on Notre Dame was halted on March 17 when France entered nationwide lock-down mode and the restoration project’s small army of specialized craftsmen, known as compagnons, were dismissed. While the unknown duration of the coronavirus shutdown presents a unique challenge to the all-hands-on-deck restoration efforts, work has stopped a small handful times over the past year, including during a high wind event and for a more lengthy and necessary pause to mitigate substantial lead contamination. There’s also the issue of the spire, which has become something of a point of contention over the past year as different factions have argued whether to faithfully restore Eugene-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc’s 19th-century design or to create a new, contemporary spire. Like with the restoration process in general, Georgelin is determined not to let any spire-squabbling slow things down. “We have to be left to get on with the work and not caught up in the controversies,” the Guardian noted him as relaying to L’Express magazine. “The quicker the decision is made about the spire, the quicker we will be able to really concentrate on the real reconstruction. It’s important that the objectives are set.” The tangle of scaffolding enveloping the cathedral, which went up just prior to the near-catastrophic blaze as part of a $6.8 million dollar restoration effort, is of particular concern, especially now that the site has largely been vacated. The scaffolding, referred to by the New York Times in 2019 as a “mass of twisted metal roughly 250 tons that is weighing down the structure,” is at high risk of collapsing—a roughly 50 percent according to experts—and meticulously removing it is a key element of assessing existing damage and then swiftly repairing it. If any single element of the repair and restoration process presents a race-against-the-clock sense of urgency, the removal of the scaffolding, which was slated to commence in March, is it. But the clock has now stopped.
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Thieves attempt to steal stones from Notre-Dame Cathedral during citywide shutdown

Following the extensive damage incurred by a fire in April of last year, Paris’s Notre-Dame Cathedral became the subject of an ongoing reconstruction plan that has since gained international attention. While work was halted this month amid the citywide shutdown ordered by President Emmanuel Macron to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, two men visited the construction site on the night of March 17 with the intention of stealing as many original building materials as they could source and carry, some of which were hand-carved several centuries ago, prior to their arrest. According to Le Parisien, the two men were spotted under a tarp after breaking in through a fault in the construction site by guards that were hired to patrol the area around the clock during its closure, and that they had the intention of later selling the ancient stones on the black market. “Notre-Dame has always been a [place of] fantasy; there's a black market,” André Finot, the spokesman for Notre-Dame, told the newspaper. “One finds stones from the cathedral for sale on eBay. Except that they're fake.” The buildings elements the two attempted to steal were likely primarily limestone, a material commonly used throughout Paris and greater Europe that becomes brittle when exposed to fire. The combination of this month’s shutdown of the construction site and the attempted theft of its precious few remaining threatens to push the completion date of the cathedral's date even further in the future. As AN reported two months ago, Jean-Louis Georgelin, a French general overseeing the building’s reconstruction, announced that its ceilings could collapse if immediate action wasn't taken. At that point in its timeline, Georgelin ordered the preservation team to remove the scaffolding around the spire by this summer and take the prior precautions before resuming restoration in 2021. Construction had also been halted by lead contaminationa spat between the general in charge and its chief architect, and a report that the structure in its entirety is structurally unsound. With delays mounting because of COVID-19, the structure may be growing even more precarious.  
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Notre Dame Cathedral's vaulted ceiling still under risk of imminent collapse

Despite the $1 billion raised in an effort to save Notre Dame Cathedral after it was ravaged by fire in April of last year, the 850-year-old structure continues to be under threat of further damage. Jean-Louis Georgelin, a French general overseeing the building's reconstruction, announced that its ceilings are still at risk of collapsing if immediate action isn't taken. “Notre Dame is not saved because ... there is an extremely important step ahead, which is to remove the scaffolding that had been built around the spire,” Georgelin explained in an interview with the Associated Press. The condition of the cathedral's vaults, a signature element of the overall design, is difficult to gauge given the centuries of reconstructive efforts performed by variously skilled craftsmen and the relatively little attention paid to them in the last year by the renovation team. “To make sure," Georgelin said, "we need to inspect them [and] remove the rubble that is still on them. It’s very difficult work that we have started.” Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, the rector of Notre Dame, added that there is a "50 percent chance" the landmark will be saved and predicted with the same likelihood that the 500 tons of scaffolding recently erected could fall onto the building's original three vaults. The news comes two months after the Archbishop of Paris, Monsignor Michel Aupetit, announced that a final evaluation of the damage would be concluded in Spring 2020. “We will have to encircle the scaffolding, then put a second scaffolding over it," he said. "From this new scaffolding, workers will descend by rope and cut it bit by bit into small pieces and this will take a long time." The stonework of the vaults will then have to be examined on a near-individual level. “We cannot take any risks," Aupetit cautioned. "We have to know which ones need replacing and which ones to keep. Only then will we know how much [the repairs] will cost and how long they will take." The most likely method of preventing irreparable damage, Georgelin stated, is for the preservation team to remove the scaffolding by the middle of 2020 and resume restoration in 2021.
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General in charge of Notre Dame restoration spars with chief architect

The drama surrounding the damaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Europe’s most visited monument, continues to build as the French government debates the fate of the cathedral's befallen spire. The National Assembly’s cultural commission was convening last week to discuss the renovation when General Jean-Louis Georgelin, appointed to spearhead the project by French President Emmanuel Macron, suggested chief architect Philippe Villeneuve should “just shut his big mouth.”  The animosity is due to disagreement over the direction of the $1 billion restoration project. The devastating fire in April, whose cause is still under investigation, completely destroyed the mid-19th-century timber-and-lead spire and the majority of the medieval wooden roof, and President Macron announced an international design competition for a contemporary replacement soon after. Despite the passage of a bill in May ruling that the Notre Dame restoration must maintain the original design, the fate of its spire still appears up in the air. Chief architect Villeneuve, meanwhile, has made his opposition to anything short of an identical reconstruction clear. “I will restore it identically and it will be me, or they will build a modern spire and it won't be me,” said Villeneuve in an interview with the French radio station RTL last month. He invoked the 1964 Venice Charter, which requires restorations of historic buildings to retain their original architectural and historic value.  General Georgelin was unequivocal when questioned by members of parliament, only confirming the President’s ambitious plan to complete the project by 2024, the same year the city will host the Summer Olympics. He promised to "move ahead in wisdom so that we can serenely make the best choice for Notre Dame, for Paris, for the world," reported The Art Newspaper. Nevertheless, construction on the roof and spire and cosmetic changes cannot begin until the cathedral's structure is fully stabilized. The building’s burnt scaffolding, which was erected for renovation work prior to the April fire, has yet to be dismantled for reconstruction to begin. France’s Cultural Minister, Franck Riester, announced last month that the scaffolding removal would begin imminently. However, this process alone could take four months according to Christophe-Charles Rousselot, head of the Notre Dame Foundation.   
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Widespread lead contamination stops work at Notre-Dame Cathedral

When Notre-Dame Cathedral burned on April 15, mourners elegized a wonderous building while French officials, world leaders, and architects proposed schemes—and pledged major funding—for its reconstruction. While chatter on the future of the near-ruined structure dominated media coverage, fumes from the conflagration quietly blanketed the area surrounding the cathedral with dangerous levels of lead. Now, because of that lead, construction on the site has stopped. During the fire, 450 tons of lead layered onto the cathedral's roof and spire melted, spewing particulates into the atmosphere of Paris. According to a leak that appeared on the French site Mediapart, the lead levels near Notre-Dame were a whopping 500-to-800 times over the safe level of lead, a known neurotoxin that's especially dangerous to young children. Lead levels in two area schools were on average ten times over the 70 micrograms-per-square-meter threshold that officials consider safe for the inside of educational facilities. The news has sparked outrage among residents and watchdog groups, who are dismayed by officials' seemingly blasé reaction to the possibility of lead contamination after the fire. About a month after the fire, Paris officials told school principals that their students and staff were not at risk from the fumes and resulting dust. A regional health agency, meanwhile, told residents to wipe away dust with a wet cloth (lead abatement is best left to professionals). Although no amount of lead is considered safe, health officials usually designate a safe exposure threshold. In Paris, officials adhere to a threshold of 1,000 micrograms per 10.8 square feet (one square meter) for most indoor spaces. At the schools, advocates contend that while now, the average of lead contamination across the building might fall under the 70 micrograms per square meter threshold, the contaminants in some (outdoor) schoolyards are over the 1,000 microgram safe limit, leaving young people potentially vulnerable to lead exposure.
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L.A.'s Getty Museum will dedicate an entire exhibition to Notre-Dame

Coming soon to the J. Paul Getty Museum is a single-gallery exhibition dedicated to the legacy of the most famous piece of medieval architecture in the world. An Enduring Icon: Notre-Dame Cathedral will be on view starting July 23rd in Los Angeles as a tribute to the French landmark and its global staying power despite the massive fire that ravished its iconic roof.  Organized by Anne-Lis Desmas, senior curator of the Sculpture and Decorative Arts department, the showcase will feature paintings, photographs, engravings, and rare books that highlight the history of the 850-year-old cathedral. “The artworks on view in this special installation," said Desmas in a statement, "elucidate the importance of this ‘majestic and sublime edifice… this aged queen of our cathedrals,’ as (Victor) Hugo called it, from its contribution in the Middle Ages to its restoration in the 1800s.” Getty Museum director Timothy Potts said that the recent fire sparked a newfound global appreciation for the architecture itself, which is why the institution is moving to put this collection on display now. “We thought it appropriate at this moment to illuminate the artistic and cultural impact that Notre-Dame has played in European history, drawing on the rich holding of the Museum and the Getty Research Institute.” The Getty Museum, established in 1974, has long been an authoritative research and conservation institution, as well as an education center on Grecian, Roman, and Etrurian art. In 2006, the museum’s sister site, the Getty Villa, opened in Malibu to house and showcase some of the Getty’s 44,000-piece collection, including ancient antiquities, drawings, sculpture, and decorative arts. The museum also boasts a large stock of global photography dating back from the invention of the camera through contemporary times, some of which will be on display in An Enduring Icon through October 20th. 
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New report details what went wrong the night of the Notre-Dame fire

Apparently, Notre-Dame Cathedral was more likely to collapse than we were led to believe on April 15, when a historic fire sent not only Paris but the world into a state of mourning over the potential loss of a beloved architectural landmark.  The New York Times has discovered, after reviewing hundreds of documents and completing a series of interviews with church officials and leaders from the fire security company responsible for Notre-Dame, that there was a major miscommunication about where exactly the flames had started. According to the report, when the fire alarm went off at 6:18 p.m., the guard sent to check on the warning went to the wrong building—the sacristy, not the attic—which seriously delayed the response effort.  It took 30 minutes before anyone realized what was happening. By the time the guard climbed up to “the forest,” the famous attic constructed of aged timber beams holding up the roof, the fire was unstoppable. Failure to identify the location of the blaze in time was only the first misstep in a series of errors that night.  The NYT found another critical reason why the damage was so bad; the fire warning system was “so arcane that when it was called upon to do the one thing that mattered — warn “fire!” and say where — it produced instead a nearly indecipherable message.” Reporters uncovered archival documents in a Paris library detailing the lengths at which the cathedral staff and fire protection experts had taken over six years to put the alarm in place, but it was simply too old and too slow. Not only that, but Notre-Dame’s attic didn’t contain any sprinklers or firewalls.  Perhaps one of the most unfortunate causes of the blaze was the newness of the employee who communicated the location of the fire to the guard. The NYT reported that it was only his third day on the job, and he had just started a double shift manning the presbytery room, which contained a complicated control panel that alerted him to smoke anywhere in the complex. There’s debate over whether he understood the alert and whether he communicated it correctly. Recent staff cuts at Notre-Dame had left him solo, according to The Telegraph. The cathedral’s spire had fallen an hour into the fight against the blaze, and the fire was so all-consuming that all firefighters on site were ordered to return to the ground where, after realizing the wind was pushing the fire towards the northern bell tower, they switched their efforts to save that structure instead. By 9:45 p.m., things were under control.  This NYT report sheds light on the various elements that caused the fire at Notre-Dame to get so far out of control. By chronicling the night’s events, hour by hour, we can now see how fragile the cathedral truly was, and how close we were to losing it forever—and by some estimates, still are. An official investigation by the French government is still ongoing to determine the cause of the fire, though it’s believed that no malice was intended. As of yesterday, parliament has approved a bill to reconstruct Notre-Dame by 2024, meaning the $954 million collected in donations following the fire will go directly to the restoration. According to the Senate, the building will be rebuilt to historical accuracy, though it will be a while before that can begin. Work on reinforcing the structure is currently proceeding very slowly and the project’s chief architect says it could still collapse if the flying buttresses aren’t shored up properly, CNN reports
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Reports claim fire has left Notre Dame structurally unsound, needs reinforcing

More woes have surfaced for Notre Dame. Architect and former UNESCO official Francesco Bandarin reported in The Art Newspaper that the cathedral is structurally unsound following the fire that destroyed its roof and spire this April. The architecture's complex structural system, comprising an array of flying buttresses, columns, and counterweights, was designed to function as a cohesive whole, but after this spring’s tragic blaze, which led to a partial collapse of the vaults, the building is “not stable and urgently needs reinforcing." Bandarin wrote that a model, developed by engineer Paolo Vannucci at the University of Versailles, showed that Notre Dame’s walls could collapse if confronted with wind speeds over 55 mph. For reference, the cathedral could previously handle winds exceeding 130 mph. While much focus has been given to the lost Viollet-le-Duc–designed spire (itself a 19th century reconstruction), Bandarin said Notre Dame's most urgent need is reinforcing both the walls and rib vaults in order to support the new roof, which the French Senate just ordered to be rebuilt as close to the original as possible.
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French Senate declares Notre Dame must be rebuilt as it was before, quashing competition

The French Senate has seemingly dealt a blow to French president Emmanuel Macron, approving a bill that requires the damaged Notre Dame Cathedral be rebuilt as it was before and from the same materials, wherever possible. On Monday night, according to French newspapers Le Monde and The Local, the Senate approved a Notre Dame reconstruction bill first passed by the lower house of the French parliament, the National Assembly, but precluded altering the cathedral. Senators added a clause stating the cathedral must be repaired to its “last known visual state” and use original materials, with exemptions allowed in extenuating circumstances for newer materials. The Senate agreed with the National Assembly that an oversight body headed by the Ministry of Culture would need to be created, but took out text from the lower house’s bill that would have, as per Macron’s request, allowed the reconstruction to sidestep environmental and preservation laws. Both houses of French parliament will now need to hash out the final text of the bill before it can move forward, but whatever they ultimately agree to will form the groundwork for the reconstruction process. If the Senate’s additions hold, it would be an explicit rebuke to Macron and Prime Minister Édouard Philippe. Two days after a fire ravaged Notre Dame on April 15, Macron pledged that the cathedral would be rebuilt by 2024, in time for the Summer Olympics in Paris, and that timetable may still hold. A competition to replace Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc’s downed timber spire from the mid-19th Century was also announced, and architects all over the world took the opportunity to imagine a Notre Dame topped in glass, parking lots, greenhouses, and more. Opposition to rebuilding the Parisian cathedral using modern materials and bypassing the existent preservation standards gathered steam, and over a thousand architects, historians, curators, and other interested parties have signed a petition calling on Macron not to rush the reconstruction.
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Why are architects focusing on Notre Dame and not St. Landry Parish?

One month ago, all of Paris and people around the world watched as flames rose high into the air above France's beloved Notre Dame Cathedral. The sight was tragic and left many asking how, why, and what next. The response was immediate and immense. Less than 48 hours after the Notre Dame fire, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announced an international design competition to reimagine the iconic arrow-like spire atop the cathedral. In one week, over $1 billion was pledged to restore the cultural icon, with a promise by the president of France himself to rebuild the global landmark in under five years. Within days of that statement, design firms responded eagerly for their chance to impart their ideas on this historic building. For designers, this competition could be viewed as the chance of a lifetime, the opportunity to make a mark on an icon of culture and history. But Notre Dame was far from the only house of worship to suffer catastrophic damage this year. Three historically black churches in Louisiana burned in a series of alleged hate crimes, three churches in Sri Lanka were bombed on Easter Sunday, and a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, was riddled with bullet holes, all just in the past few months. All of these events are tragic too. Why is the design world addressing only one? When the three churches of St. Landry Parish in southern Louisiana burned to the ground in the two weeks between March 26 and April 4, these fires quickly made the national news and became a springboard for conversations around race relations in our country. On a national scale, these discussions were, quite necessarily, about the hateful acts themselves, but failed to address what to do in their aftermath. It wasn’t until the massive financial response to the Notre Dame fire took off that a larger spotlight illuminated the plight of these churches as spaces and places in need of financial support as well. People around the world began donating funds to the Seventh District Baptist Church’s GoFundMe page, which before the Notre Dame fire had only raised $50,000. In the two days following April 15, the day of the Notre Dame fire, the campaign brought in nearly $1 million. This display of generosity was not in multi-million dollar donations but in amounts ranging mostly from $5 to $20. One month later, the church has nearly $2.2 million to rebuild. Despite the money now available, there has been no political charge and few design ideas put forward for the rebuilding of the three Louisiana churches. Does St. Landry Parish not warrant as bold a vision for its rebuilding efforts as Notre Dame? One might say the Louisiana buildings were not on the same playing field as Notre Dame. And it’s true that they didn’t have the same grandeur of scale or the global affinity, but they had people who depended on them all the same. We need to stop idolizing the building as an icon, and instead, honor the people of a place. This is also an opportunity to start bridging the expansive gap of access and inclusion that exists in today’s design community—the glaring lack of diversity within the makeup of our industry and its projects. It is a chance to refocus the lens of design beyond massive, global, and wealthy institutions to include those that capture the essence of all people and all experiences. Design is a tool to bring people together and help foster conversations that can lead to healing. For communities in Louisiana, Christchurch, and Sri Lanka, communities that have had some of their most sacred places ravaged by the violence of hate, a new place can help people mourn what and whom they’ve lost, celebrate those lives, and then, in time, focus on their shared beliefs and common goals. A new place can help people to rise above the negativity of a few and honor the positivity of the whole. We should always remember that design is for everyone, not just those where “funding is not an issue.” So let’s open our ears, our minds, and our hearts to the communities who need their voices heard and let’s expand on the definition of design so that it is no longer rooted in the things that we build but instead is measured by the experiences we shape and the memories we create. Meredith McCarthy, AIA, is a senior associate with Sasaki. She is passionate about advancing equity and inclusion within the industry and through her design work with communities around the world.  
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Architects, engineers, academics urge Macron not to rush Notre Dame reconstruction

The scramble is on to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral before the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, but a concerned coalition of curators, architects, art historians, preservationists, and more have told French president Emmanuel Macron to slow down. In a petition published by the newspaper Le Figaro on April 28, 1,170 signers spoke out against hastily reconstructing Notre Dame. Macron has taken steps since the April 15 fire to speed up the cathedral’s repair, first announcing an international design competition to replace the downed spire, and then the formation of a draft law that would appoint a citizen’s group to oversee the reconstruction. According to The Art Newspaper, the body would have the authority to forgo preservation regulations in the name of meeting the 2024 deadline. Philippe de Montebello, former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Davide Gasparotto, senior curator of the painting department at the Getty Museum, Louvre chief curators Nicolas Milovanovic and Cécile Scailliérez, and a number of prominent French preservationists put their names on the Le Figaro petition. Complicating the issue is that the exact status of Notre Dame is unknown at this point. While the forest of 12th-century wooden support trusses and Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc’s 19th-century spire were brought down by the fire, the limestone vaults and thick walls remain standing. The cathedral’s three majestic rose windows also remain intact, but experts cautioned that the fire, and subsequent attempt to put it out, could have caused unseen damage to the structure. “Limestone can lose about 75 percent of its strength when it’s exposed to heat over 600 degrees Celsius,” stone conservationist George Wheeler told The Art Newspaper. “And that fire certainly exceeded 600 degrees Celsius in many locations.” Microscopic cracks in the stone and glass caused by rapid heating and cooling will only become apparent once a full survey of the cathedral has been completed. At the time of writing, experts have not yet determined whether the loss of the roof struts have endangered how the building’s weight is distributed, either. The water used to put out the fire still needs to be removed from the church’s interior as well, and much of the mortar will need to be replaced to prevent the growth of mold. Overall, conservationists have estimated that rebuilding Notre Dame to its pre-fire status could take at least a decade; as such, it remains to be seen whether Macron’s timetable is achievable. In the meantime, a number of architects have already jumped at the chance to design a contemporary update to the cathedral.