Author Topic: Fire at historic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris  (Read 2624 times)

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Fire at historic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2019, 14:48:31 »
From CTV News

https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/fire-at-historic-notre-dame-cathedral-in-paris-1.4380501

and BBC News.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47941794

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Seriously though, that sucks big time. I hope everyone's OK. It's a big, confusing place to wander around in (as I have done several times, with my mouth open gaping upwards).
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Re: Fire at historic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2019, 18:10:01 »
A magnificent place - I'm glad I took my family there 2 years ago - sadly it will be many years before such grandeur can be rebuilt. 
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Re: Fire at historic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2019, 08:38:16 »
From what I've read from various sources today, the damage appears to be much less than feared. The wooden roof is gone, but the stone inner roof is OK. The spire is gone and one of the stained glass windows fell out. There is also extensive water damage. Most of the important relics and artworks were rescued.

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Re: Fire at historic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2019, 12:32:23 »
A magnificent place - I'm glad I took my family there 2 years ago - sadly it will be many years before such grandeur can be rebuilt.

It’s part of world  history, good and bad. A magnificent structure that I hope can be restored.
Read “Pillars of the Earth” . Awesome book about cathedral builders.
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Offline Remius

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Re: Fire at historic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2019, 12:36:24 »
It’s part of world  history, good and bad. A magnificent structure that I hope can be restored.
Read “Pillars of the Earth” . Awesome book about cathedral builders.

A lot of these types of structures and sites have very strict rules about things like fuel and combustibles.  I'm curious as to what protocols were in place.

Churches use a lot of burning candles and incense etc.

Sad that Notre Dame survived the French revolution and two world wars only to have this happen now like this...
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Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: Fire at historic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2019, 12:42:17 »
I went looking for an appropriate meme/political cartoon that featured Quasimodo in the feelings about the damage to his abode.  While there were some that incorporated the Disney version of the character in sympathetic renderings, I guess that my natural aversion to Disney cartoons (or most animations) coloured any acceptance of using such as an expression of loss.  I suppose my image of the Hunchback will always be the Charles Laughton characterization.

But now that the fire is out and the damage is being assessed the call has quickly turned to restoration.  In a way, the story of Quasimodo is linked to that restoration.  Back in the early 1800s Notre Dame was a neglected eyesore that few had any time, inclination or funds to spend on it.  It was following the 1831 publication of Victor Hugo's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" that people (and governments - Republican and Second Empire) suddenly took a renewed interest in the structure and subsequently restored it into one of the iconic monuments of Paris.  It has endured many indignities in its history.  This is just another to add to its legacy.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2019/04/15/notre-dame-was-ruins-victor-hugos-novel-about-hunchback-saved-it/?utm_term=.6a51d4e493b0
Quote
Notre Dame was in ruins. Victor Hugo’s novel about a hunchback saved it.
France has rebuilt its iconic cathedral before


By  Gillian Brockell April 16 at 5:55 AM

Notre Dame has gone through a lot in its 856 years. It has endured ill-advised remodeling, revolutionary ransacking and pollution-induced decay. Hitler once had it slated for demolition.

On Monday, fire raged through the cathedral, consuming its roof and causing its central spire to collapse. The full scale of “colossal damage” has yet to be assessed, but French President Emmanuel Macron vowed that the Paris landmark would be rebuilt, and donations to do so began pouring in from some of France’s richest families.

“Notre Dame of Paris is our history,” Macron said. “The epicenter of our lives. It’s the many books, the paintings, those that belong to all French men and French women, even those who’ve never come.”

France has rebuilt it before. In the early 1800s, Notre Dame was half-ruined when a writer used the crumbling structure as the setting for one of his greatest works, setting in motion a rescue operation nearly as grand as its original construction.

“Parisians have had a direct relationship with their cathedral,” said Stephen Murray, an art historian and professor emeritus at Columbia University. “And I think it was largely because of the wave of interest because of the book."

The first stone of the cathedral was laid in 1163 in the presence of Pope Alexander III, according to the Notre Dame website. The altar was finished about 20 years later; the two towers were constructed between 1225 and 1250, and the entire cathedral was completed in 1345.

During the reign of Louis XIV (1643-1715), Notre Dame underwent a rather unfortunate renovation. Stained glass was replaced with clear windows, a pillar was demolished to allow carriages to pass through, and the original rood screen — an ornate partition usually made of wood or stone that divides the nave from the chancel — was torn down.

The French Revolution era was even worse for it. Seized by revolutionaries, dozens of statues were destroyed. The bishop’s palace was burned to the ground and never rebuilt. The spire was deconstructed after it was damaged by wind. Lead from the roof was used for bullets, and bronze bells were melted down for cannon, according to National Geographic.

The cathedral was returned to the Catholic Church by 1802, but it continued to decay.

Then, in 1831, the writer Victor Hugo published his novel “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” It tells the tale of Quasimodo, the deformed bell ringer of the cathedral, who becomes obsessed with the beautiful Esmeralda.

But beyond the star-crossed love, Notre Dame is the star of the show. Hugo wrote two chapters just describing it. And he notably set his novel in the 1400s, Notre Dame’s heyday. Hugo wrote: “It is difficult not to sigh, not to wax indignant, before the numberless degradations and mutilations which time and men have both caused the venerable monument to suffer.”

A classic novel now — more than a dozen movies have been based on it — it was also a hit when it was released. Suddenly, people cared again about the eyesore on an island in the middle of Paris.

The government formed the Commission on Historical Monuments and in 1841 assigned architects Eugène Viollet-le-Duc and Jean-Baptiste Lassus to return Notre Dame to its former glory. Lassus died in 1857, leaving Viollet-le-Duc to finish the job.

“Viollet-le-Duc must have lived and breathed that building,” said Murray, the historian.

Over the next few decades, he oversaw the rebuilding of the spire, resurfacing of the stonework, restitution of the statues, construction of a new sacristy, reglazing of stained-glass windows, the addition of its famous gargoyles, construction of a new organ and countless other tasks. It was rededicated on May 31, 1864, by the archbishop of Paris.

“My sense of amazement … is with all the vicissitudes that France [wa]s going through — with the 1848 revolution, with Napoleon III becoming emperor — somehow they just kept going with this restoration with a kind of unanimity and fixed purpose” that you don’t see today, Murray said.

Restoration projects have continued through the years. In fact, another had just begun this month, funded in large part by the Friends of Notre Dame of Paris foundation, of which Murray is a member. He said he and other members were “in grief” Monday.

“In the Middle Ages, you would’ve believed that God sent the fire because God wanted a better cathedral. But you can’t hope for a better cathedral at this point,” he said. “The question is, how on earth are we going to find the resources to rebuild this one?”

Already pledges of the French government and the moneyed of France have been made.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47943705
Quote
Notre-Dame fire: Millions pledged to rebuild cathedral

Hundreds of millions of euros have been pledged to help rebuild Notre-Dame after a devastating fire partially destroyed the French cathedral.

The fire, declared fully extinguished some 15 hours after it began, ravaged the 850-year-old building's roof and caused its spire to collapse.

But firefighters who worked through the night managed to save the Paris landmark's main stone structure, including its two towers.

The cause of the fire is not yet clear.

Paris public prosecutor Rémy Heitz said his office was "favouring the theory of an accident", but had assigned 50 people to work on what he believed would be a "long" and "complex" investigation.

Other officials have suggested it could be linked to extensive renovation works taking place at the cathedral.

Thoughts are now turning to how Notre-Dame will be rebuilt.

French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to reconstruct the historic building even as the fire still burned, while a number of companies and business tycoons have so far pledged about €600m ($677m; £519m) between them.

Offers of help with the reconstruction have also poured in from around the globe, with European Council President Donald Tusk calling on EU member states to rally round.

What happened?

The blaze was discovered at 18:43 (16:43 GMT), and firefighters were called. The flames quickly reached the roof of the cathedral, destroying the wooden interior before toppling the spire.

Fears grew that the cathedral's famous towers would also be destroyed.
 
The whole of the roof was "devastated", according to the fire service

But while a number of fires did begin in the towers, French Deputy Interior Minister Laurent Nuñez said they were successfully stopped before they could spread.

By the early hours of Tuesday, the fire was declared under control, with the Paris fire service saying it was fully extinguished by 10:00 local time (08:00 GMT).

. . . .

What happens next?

Individuals and groups are mobilising to help rebuild Notre-Dame. Hundreds of millions of euros have already been pledged.

Air France said in a statement that the company would offer free flights to anyone involved in the reconstruction.

Billionaire François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of the Kering group that owns the Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent fashion brands, pledged €100m (£86m; $113m) towards rebuilding Notre-Dame, AFP news agency reports.

Another €200m was pledged by Bernard Arnault's family and their company LVMH - a business empire which includes Louis Vuitton and Sephora - on Tuesday morning, according to Reuters news agency.

French cosmetics giant L'Oreal and its founding Bettencourt family have promised to give a further €200m to the reconstruction effort. Total, the French oil giant, has also pledged €100m.

The French charity Fondation du Patrimoine is launching an international appeal for funds for the cathedral, a Unesco World Heritage site.

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Offline Remius

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Re: Fire at historic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2019, 12:44:49 »
Interesting as well is that experts have said they don't have enough big trees in France to rebuild it the way it was.
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Re: Fire at historic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2019, 20:16:25 »
OK, let's just stick to the fire, shall we?  Thanks, in advance ...

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« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 20:22:17 by milnews.ca »
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Re: Fire at historic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2019, 22:52:49 »
Interesting as well is that experts have said they don't have enough big trees in France to rebuild it the way it was.

Yes it is interesting.

The cathedral is (note I didn't say "was') a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The French government has already raised about 600 million Euros from private source pledges for reconstruction. I say let Canada do its part. Our government should pledge to provide all the oak beams they need to rebuild as its contribution.

When Florence was flooded in 1966, the World came to assist in saving the artistic heritage. Canada offering the oak needed for the cathedral's rebirth would be a small but significant gesture.

Offline YZT580

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Re: Fire at historic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2019, 23:03:09 »
I'm sure  they can find the timber somewhere but can they find the joiners and stone masons with enough skills to put it all together?  We've become  real good with welding steel and bolting things together but there aren't a lot of folks around who can put  a wood frame building together using mortise and tendon joints and dowels and all those other things I've seen in Morrisburg.  Perhaps we should offer the services of our Mennonite disaster relief crews along with the oak.  Many of them have the skills needed.

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Re: Fire at historic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2019, 23:11:19 »
The cathedral is (note I didn't say "was') a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The French government has already raised about 600 million Euros from private source pledges for reconstruction. I say let Canada do its part. Our government should pledge to provide all the oak beams they need to rebuild as its contribution.

Oak is what it was - why not offer BC redwood?

This is a remarkable opportunity to build something that incorporates past and present - look to the future, not only to the past.

All reports suggest it was a run down dump in the early 1800s and underwent significant renewal; this is another opportunity to do the same.




(Anyone who notes that France has committed to rebuilding within 5 years, while it's taking DND over a decade to move into an existing complex of buildings as updated by PSPC...)
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Re: Fire at historic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2019, 23:58:32 »
Oak is what it was - why not offer BC redwood?

This is a remarkable opportunity to build something that incorporates past and present - look to the future, not only to the past.

All reports suggest it was a run down dump in the early 1800s and underwent significant renewal; this is another opportunity to do the same.




(Anyone who notes that France has committed to rebuilding within 5 years, while it's taking DND over a decade to move into an existing complex of buildings as updated by PSPC...)

No one uses that stuff for construction anymore, too prone to fire. Engineered wood products are the way of the future.... (and sprinkler systems).

The University of Northern BC is a great example: https://www.unbc.ca/engineering-graduate/construction-wood-innovation-design-centre
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Offline Remius

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Re: Fire at historic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2019, 00:59:13 »
I'm sure  they can find the timber somewhere but can they find the joiners and stone masons with enough skills to put it all together?  We've become  real good with welding steel and bolting things together but there aren't a lot of folks around who can put  a wood frame building together using mortise and tendon joints and dowels and all those other things I've seen in Morrisburg.  Perhaps we should offer the services of our Mennonite disaster relief crews along with the oak.  Many of them have the skills needed.

Not sure.  With all the Renos done to parliament hill (gothic architecture) recently we likely have a lot of experts in that field now.   I’m sure some could be put to good work.
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Offline Eaglelord17

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Re: Fire at historic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2019, 04:42:30 »
A friend was telling me apparently a couple years ago someone did a extremely detailed 3d map of the inside of the Cathedral. With luck that should allow them to essentially exactly recreate the structure and grandeur exactly as it was.


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Re: Fire at historic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2019, 09:10:09 »
A friend was telling me apparently a couple years ago someone did a extremely detailed 3d map of the inside of the Cathedral. With luck that should allow them to essentially exactly recreate the structure and grandeur exactly as it was.

This is obviously up to the Catholic Church and France to decide, but why re-set the cathedral to its 1840 renovation? The fire was a terrible thing, but it is also an opportunity to put a 2019 stamp on this building that will then go forward for centuries.

Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: Fire at historic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2019, 12:00:36 »
This is obviously up to the Catholic Church and France to decide, but why re-set the cathedral to its 1840 renovation? The fire was a terrible thing, but it is also an opportunity to put a 2019 stamp on this building that will then go forward for centuries.

France, definitely.  Catholic Church, not so much.

http://time.com/4876087/notre-dame-cathedral-is-crumbling/
Quote
Notre Dame Cathedral Is Crumbling. Who Will Help Save It?
Updated: April 15, 2019 2:06 PM ET | Originally published: July 27, 2017

On an average summer day in Paris, about 50,000 tourists pass through Notre Dame cathedral, one of the finest buildings of the medieval era still standing. Visitors from dozens of countries gaze up at the spectacular stained-glass windows, tiptoe through its vast choir and nave and whisper in awe at the centuries-old sculptures and paintings that line the walls.

Notre Dame, which looms over the capital from an island in the center of the city, is a constant reminder of Paris’ history. It has seen more than its share of epic dramas, including the French Revolution and two world wars. But now there is another challenge. Some 854 years after construction began, one of Europe’s most visited sites, with about 12 million tourists a year, is in dire need of repairs. Centuries of weather have worn away at the stone. The fumes from decades of gridlock have only worsened the damage. “Pollution is the biggest culprit,” says Philippe Villeneuve, architect in chief of historic monuments in France. “We need to replace the ruined stones. We need to replace the joints with traditional materials. This is going to be extensive.”

It will be expensive too, and it’s not at all clear who is prepared to foot the bill. Under France’s strict secular laws, the government owns the cathedral, and the Catholic archdiocese of Paris uses it permanently for free. The priests for years believed the government should pay for repairs, since it owned the building. But under the terms of the government’s agreement, the archdiocese is responsible for Notre Dame’s upkeep, with the Ministry of Culture giving it about €2 million ($2.28 million) a year for that purpose. Staff say that money covers only basic repairs, far short of what is needed. Without a serious injection of cash, some believe, the building will not be safe for visitors in the future. Now the archdiocese is seeking help to save Notre Dame from yielding to the ravages of time.
 
The architects of Notre Dame knew all too well about lengthy building work; it took more than a century to build the cathedral, beginning in 1163. It was periodically vandalized over the turbulent centuries that followed. Rioting Huguenots damaged parts of the building they believed to be idolatrous in the mid–16th century. During the French Revolution, mobs of people carted off or smashed some of its paintings and statues. The hated royalty suffered the brunt of the carnage, with crowds destroying 28 statues of monarchs from the building’s Gallery of Kings. After that, Notre Dame languished in neglect.

Then in 1831 came Victor Hugo’s book The Hunchback of Notre Dame, whose hero was the disfigured bell ringer Quasimodo. In it, France’s beloved writer raised alarm about the building’s decay, describing “mutilations, amputations, dislocations of the joints.” “Beside each wrinkle on the face of this old queen of our cathedrals,” he wrote, “you will find a scar.”

But for Notre Dame, Hugo’s book sparked fresh problems. The best seller inspired a restoration in 1844, which used low-quality stone and even cement, since France at the time could not produce the quantities of high-grade material that the job required.

Nearly 200 years on, that 19th century work is crumbling (though the medieval construction is mostly in better shape). One blazing hot day in early July, a staff member unlocked an old door off the choir and led TIME up a stone spiral staircase and out onto the roof, high above the crowds. Here, the site seemed not spiritually uplifting but distressing. Chunks of limestone lay on the ground, having fallen from the upper part of the chevet, or the eastern end of the Gothic church. One small piece had a clean slice down one side, showing how recently it had fallen. Two sections of a wall were missing, propped up with wood. And the features of Notre Dame’s famous gargoyles looked as worn away as the face of Voldemort. “They are like ice cream in the sun, melting,” says Michel Picaud, head of the nonprofit Friends of Notre Dame de Paris, looking up at them.

What is more, some fear the problem is getting worse. “The damage can only accelerate,” says Andrew Tallon, an associate professor of art at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and an expert on Gothic architecture. Having carefully studied the damage, he says the restoration work is urgent. If the cathedral is left alone, its structural integrity could be at risk. “The flying buttresses, if they are not in place, the choir could come down,” he says. “The more you wait, the more you need to take down and replace.”

The church was not fully aware of the extent of the problem, say those at Notre Dame. Until a few years ago, the government effectively made the private areas off-limits. “There used to be about 200 old keys, so it was very, very difficult,” says André Finot, a spokesman for Notre Dame. Eventually, the government standardized the keys and allowed its tenants to climb the hidden stone staircases and access the upper levels. “We were shocked when we got up there,” Finot says.

The government hasn’t completely ignored the cathedral’s plight. In 2012, its bells were replaced to mark its 850th birthday. This year, authorities budgeted an extra €6 million ($6.84 million) to restore the spire. Water damage to the spire’s covering is threatening the wood-timber roof, which the medieval craftsmen built using 5,000 oak trees. The restoration will begin in the fall. But a Ministry of Culture official says Notre Dame should not expect regular help of this kind. To the government, the cathedral is just one of many old buildings in need of care. “France has thousands of monuments,” says the official, who was not authorized to speak to the media. Among them, Notre Dame is not necessarily the most pressing case. “It will not fall down,” she says.

Still, there is plenty of alarm in the church. Finally accepting that the government would not pay to restore the cathedral, the archdiocese launched Friends of Notre Dame in October to appeal for help. It hopes to raise €100 million ($114 million) in the next five to 10 years. “There is no part of the building untouched by the irreparable loss of sculptural and decorative elements, let alone the alarming deterioration of structural elements,” the organization says on its website. The cathedral, it says, “is in desperate need of attention.”

Picaud, a retired software executive who heads the fundraising effort, says he is planning a marketing drive in Paris in November. But he believes the bulk of the money will come not from the French but from Americans, millions of whom know Notre Dame and who are less hesitant than the French about giving money to the church. “People don’t want to give money because of laïcité,” says Finot, referring to the strict secularism that infuses French law. “So our message is, This is not about religion. It is about our heritage. Notre Dame is open to Muslims, and everyone.” Finot and Picaud expect to raise most of the funds through large donations and are discussing with government officials whether to acknowledge that generosity with a plaque at Notre Dame.

In April, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service granted Friends of Notre Dame tax-free status, and the organization is planning to hold a five-city American road show in spring 2018 in an all-out push to raise the money. By the time serious renovation work begins–perhaps sometime before the end of this decade–the damage could be worse than it is today. But at Notre Dame, history is counted not in years but in centuries. “We hope it will last forever,” Picaud says. “But it cannot last forever without this renovation.”

This appears in the August 07, 2017 issue of TIME


And that was the situation two years ago, before the limited renovation that was ongoing at the time of the fire (and that some speculate may have been the origin of the fire).  Very convenient lucky for the cathedral as a complete restoration may now be possible.

As for a possible lack of materials or craftsmen, I'm sure they will figure it out.  Even their 19th century repairs had to use poorer materials either due to cost or unavailability of the same quality from 500 to 600 years before.  While there may be a handful of Canadian artisans who could fit the needs of such a project, really, even if typical French arrogance didn't almost demand that only a Frenchman should restore a national monument, a comparison of typical construction practices between Europe and North America would provide a clue about where the work force will be sourced.  Restoring a building over here often means something from the 1920s to 1950s, over there, as an example, 25 years ago I rented an apartment in a relatively new structure, only 125 years old at that time.  There were a few others in the village that were a couple hundred years older, regular renovation of those family properties was a normal practice.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 12:03:23 by Blackadder1916 »
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