How Hard will it be to Restore the Notre Dame?


photo from SFGate

Claire Lawrence, Reporter

Only a couple of days ago, Paris’s Notre Dame, an iconic Cathedral that marveled many, was on fire. The cathedral was set ablaze in the middle of the day while the spire was under construction. Although we don’t know much about how it was started, the fire was most likely caused by an electrical fire during preservation. The building is over 8 and a half centuries old, and an architectural masterpiece. It receives more than 13 Million visitors a year.

Since it is so old, the building was made mostly of wood and although sturdy, had barely any stone or concrete elements. Most f the art inside the building was saved from the fire, as it had been removed for restoration, but the building itself was the real work of art. Although the double towers were really the staple look of the cathedral, the spire was a marvel. However, since the fire had ravaged it, it fell early on.

Just today, France’s Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, announced his plan to rebuild the spire. There will be a competition to rebuild the spire, (or at least have a plan). This will give France a chance to decide whether to rebuild it how it was or to revamp it in memorial of the old spire, which was nearly 300 feet tall. French officials are hopeful that the spire will be done ‘even more beautiful’ in 5 years, but restoration experts predict more like 10-15 years.

However, before that is even started, work has to be done to save the rest of the Notre Dam. First, Work must be done to redo the roof, which was destroyed by the fire. It will have to be repaired with metal or plastic to prevent future fires and to keep out water from the main building. The ceiling that wasn’t destroyed will have to be checked if they were weakened by the heat, as well as its signature stained glass windows. No damage has come to them yet, none are broken. However if either of these was weakened, more money would go to restoring and strengthening them.

Materials are another challenge. Experts say France doesn’t have tall enough trees to carve the beams, and shipping whole large trees will be a difficult feat, as well as expensive.

Overall, the cost of the rebuilding is predicted to be over $1 Billion, 70% of which will come from donations by France’s wealthiest population.

Overall, the road to recovery for this national landmark will be hard, and our heart is with the people with this devastation. However, it is lucky that only the spire and roof were burned, and some of the most iconic parts remain intact. Experts everywhere are coming together to restore the Cathedral to its former glory.