The Notre-Dame Cathedral is hoping to be reconstructed by Dec. 2024. ABIGAIL MANBECK / SNAPPER
In April of 2019, the Notre-Dame Cathedral of Paris France broke out into a massive ball of flames. The fire destroyed much of the beloved cathedral, and there is a whole team of people trying to reconstruct it. It will be about five years this April 15 since this horrible accident. Restoration is currently underway, and the hope is for the cathedral to be fully reconstructed in Dec. 2024.
There was a 60 Minutes report with journalist Bill Whitaker that talked about the current restoration process. He talked to two key people who are currently involved in this process. The two individuals being Chief Architect Philippe Villeneuve and the French President’s special representative General Jean-Louis Georgelin.
The current restoration includes recreating the same exact spire that was originally created by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th Century. It was currently undergoing restoration when the fire broke out and was destroyed. Luckily, there is a lot of documentation on how the spire was originally created, so it is much easier to know how to create it again. They are even using the same type of wood for the spire. The work to recreate the spire is currently being done in Eastern France. After the fire, the architect Villeneuve found the original rooster almost completely untouched. He is planning to put that in the church in commemoration and is planning to put a new rooster on top of the new spire.
They are also currently working on restoring the Grand Organ as well as the original works of art that were in the cathedral and the stained- glass that was on the organ as well. Stone cutters and sculptors are hard at work recreating the gothic architecture and gargoyles that were damaged and even destroyed in the fire. There are people as young as 23 years old, crafting these pieces of artwork from scratch. They are told by the head architect, to feel the original piece that was damaged, and then feel their own piece, to get an idea of what it should feel and look like.
Inside the cathedral, they are cleaning the other stained-glass windows, especially the rose windows, covering all the stone with latex, that will later be peeled away to leave the cathedral looking bright and glowing. Some restorers are working on cleaning 14th century medieval works that depict the life of Christ.
There are about 1,000 people currently working on this restoration, and each and every single one of these people are taking so much pride and care into restoring this cathedral.