Patterico's Pontifications

4/15/2019

Developing Story: Fire Ravages Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris; Spire Collapses [Updated]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 12:55 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Sad news to begin Holy Week in Western Christendom.

The famed Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France was engulfed in flames on Monday leading to the collapse of the structure’s main spire. The intense flames leaped out from two of its bell towers minutes before the spire collapsed, and later spread to one of the cathedral’s iconic rectangular towers.

A church spokesman told French media that all of Notre Dame cathedral’s frame is burning after the spire collapsed.

“Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame,” Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told local outlets.

[. . .]

The deputy mayor of Paris, Emmanuel Gregoire, told BFMTV that the cathedral has suffered “colossal damages.”

Paris emergency services said they were trying to salvage the artwork stored in the cathedral.

At least there does not yet appear to be any deaths attributed to the blaze. It’s very sad to see an elegant and historic church damaged so horribly. Not to push the point too far, but the burning building unfortunately stands as a metaphor for the Church in modern Europe.

Here’s the cathedral seen in better days, taken from a visit I made nearly six years ago. The spire has now collapsed, and apparently the roof is in danger.

Notre Dame

I sincerely hope the French people have the will to rebuild this beautiful structure.

UPDATE: The parish priest from my boyhood passes along this poignant Tweet.

UPDATE II: Heartbreaking. It’s confirmed that the three iconic stained glass windows, the West Rose (dating from AD 1225), the North Rose, and the South Rose (both dating from AD 1250), have exploded in the fire.

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: This CNN story says that the rose windows have all survived contrary to previous reports. The organ supposed survived as well. What a relief.

– JVW

84 Responses to “Developing Story: Fire Ravages Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris; Spire Collapses [Updated]”

  1. This is a reminder that there’s always some loss by accident with time, and you should preserve many more than just one of a thing.

    Like many big accidents and disasters it appears to have been caused by changes in routine, or the absence of routine, during renovations or during testing. That’s kind of like the most risky thing to do.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  2. I decided to trash lany/perry’s comment. I don’t really ever do that, but the comment was typically snide and unhelpful to the story, and it happened to be the first one put up on this post. I’m not in the mood to humor that kind of buffoonery. If lany/perry returns to this thread, he/she will go into moderation.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  3. May the fire reignite the spark of Christendom in France and allow the faithful to rebuild stronger and more devout.

    NJRob (bf4bb5)

  4. Hearing on Twitter and Facebook that the roof has now collapsed. It sounds like this is going to be really, really, really bad.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  5. Here’s hoping the French people have the will to rebuild.

    They ddin’t suceed in rebuilding the Tuileries, destroyed because of someone involved with the Paris Commune in 1871, but that was in the 19th century. The restoration was botched and it was completely knocked down in 1883.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuileries_Palace

    …It was only on 25 May that the Paris fire brigades and the 26th battalion of the Chasseurs d’Afrique managed to put out the fire. The library and other portions of the Louvre were also set on fire by Communards and entirely destroyed. The museum itself was only miraculously saved.

    The ruins of the Tuileries stood on the site for 11 years. Although the roofs and the inside of the palace had been utterly destroyed by the fire, the stone shell of the palace remained intact and restoration was possible. Other monuments of Paris also set on fire by Communards, such as the City Hall, were rebuilt in the 1870s. After much hesitation, the Third Republic eventually decided not to restore the ruins of the Tuileries, which had become a symbol of the former royal and imperial regimes. However, the portions of the Louvre that had also been destroyed by fire were rebuilt in their original style.

    In 1882, the French National Assembly voted for the demolition of the ruins, which were sold to a private entrepreneur for the sum of 33,300 gold francs (approximately US$161,367 in 2015[citation needed])[13], despite the protests of Baron Haussmann and other members of French artistic and architectural circles, who opposed what they thought was a crime against French arts and history. The demolition was started in February 1883 and completed on 30 September 1883. Bits of stone and marble from the palace were sold by a private entrepreneur, Achille Picart, as souvenirs, and even to build a castle in Corsica, near Ajaccio, the Château de la Punta [fr],[14] which is essentially a reconstruction of the Pavillon de Bullant. The courtyard pediment of the central pavilion can be seen in Paris’ Georges Cain square [fr], some courtyard is in the garden of the Trocadero. Other pieces are in the Louvre, the Museum of Decorative Arts, and at schools of architecture, fine arts, and bridges and roads.[15]

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  6. They rebuilt many historic structures (or at least medieval town squares in Poland) after World War II, and it required a lot of training. That’s where stone masons come from.

    Rebuilding in Poland after World War II:

    https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/apr/22/story-cities-warsaw-rebuilt-18th-century-paintings

    Notre Dame may be harder because it took centuries to build. Still, they could actually build it back approximately the way it was before, although the artwork may be very difficult.

    The Communist government in Poalnd after World War II was very interested in that, partly maybe because Stalin was responsible for a lot of the destruction in Warsaw. And of course money, or effort was no object. They actually rebuilt mistakes or bad design.)

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  7. UPDATE: The parish priest from my boyhood passes along this poignant Tweet.

    https://twitter.com/BpDavidRicken/status/1117892772902518784

    JVW (54fd0b)

  8. So sad losing a glorious structure of history.

    mg (8cbc69)

  9. Heartbreaking. I visited in 2008, and walking inside, the cathedral is huge and filled with massive stone columns. It was transcendent and seemed impervious to man.

    I held it together until I saw your video.

    Patricia (3363ec)

  10. UPDATE II: Heartbreaking. It’s confirmed that the three iconic stained glass windows, the West Rose (dating from AD 1225), the North Rose, and the South Rose (both dating from AD 1250), have exploded in the fire.

    https://twitter.com/LPLdirect/status/1117883288192831488

    JVW (54fd0b)

  11. On CNN just now they’re saying that according to officials the twin huge spires are now going to be saved.

    This is so sad.

    harkin (0e8c36)

  12. Towers, not spires.

    harkin (0e8c36)

  13. #10: heartbreaking about the stained glass (and much else). What’s remarkable about medieval stained glass (besides the beauty, and the technique) is the question: How has it survived so long?

    Rheims Cathedral was gutted in WWI, and rebuilt. But still, the biggest part of the magic of such a place is thinking of the generation after generation of humanity that has trod the same floor, beneath the very same roof.

    BTW, as awe-inspiring as it is (was) to stand and gaze upon Notre Dame, it’s even more so with Amiens Cathedral (and not just because there are far fewer tourists in the plaza). I will never forget that feeling. At least, I hope I don’t.

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  14. National Review Online has republished a piece written by Michael Brenden Dougherty seventeen months ago regarding the Archbishop of Paris’s efforts to raise money to rehabilitate parts of the cathedral that were already going decrepit. It doesn’t make one brim with confidence over the ability of the French to rebuild it even with this tragedy as the backdrop.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  15. This is tragic. I know it is “just” a building and windows, but what a vision they were.

    DRJ (15874d)

  16. like one of those eight wonders of the world, like the one in Halicarnassus:

    narciso (d1f714)

  17. But still, the biggest part of the magic of such a place is thinking of the generation after generation of humanity that has trod the same floor, beneath the very same roof.

    Couldn’t agree more. I’ve had the chance to visit the Freiburg Minster. I was told it’s one of the few medieval churches in Germany to have survived WWII. It was amazing to think that 800 or so years ago someone said, ‘here’s the plan …’ and it’s still there.

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  18. St. Marks Basilica in Venice is quite impressive as well.

    mg (8cbc69)

  19. There is scaffolding and the reports say it was undergoing repairs, but it sounds like the art was still inside. They saved the Crown of Thorns and the tunic. It is strange they left them there during construction. They must have felt this was impossible.

    DRJ (15874d)

  20. “Frying Buttresses”… Imagine surviving 850 years, the French Revolution, two world wars, the frigging Nazis—only to succumb to some French stumblebum ‘menkeying’ around and careless w/a flame.

    “CLOUSEAU!!!” – Chief Inspector Dreyfus [Herbert Lom] ‘The Pink Panther’ 1963

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  21. one gets the notion that nothing really works, over there,

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/04/15/firefighters-notre-dame-cathedral/

    narciso (d1f714)

  22. This is tragic. I know it is “just” a building and windows, but what a vision they were.

    It’s a piece of French (and European) history too. Construction undertaken during the reign of Louis VII. Napoleon being crowned in the Cathedral. Surviving the French Revolution and the two world wars.

    I actually feel very sorry for the construction workers who are likely to be blamed as having started the fire. It can’t be a good feeling being in their shoes right now.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  23. This report says one of the towers was lost and one was saved. For now, the cause is listed as an accident:

    The exact cause of the blaze was not known, but French media quoted the Paris fire brigade as saying the fire is “potentially linked” to a 6 million-euro ($6.8 million) renovation project on the church’s spire and its 250 tons of lead. The Paris prosecutors’ office ruled out arson and possible terror-related motives, and said it was treating it as an accident.

    I hope they saved the bells.

    DRJ (15874d)

  24. The Houston Chronicle claims there is something very bad about this week in history:

    April 14-20: Historically, America’s most tragedy-filled week

    True or not? I have no idea.

    DRJ (15874d)

  25. 18: St. Martin’s Church in Canterbury has been essentially in continuous use since the 6th century. It was closed the day I was there, but still worth the extra effort to walk around it.

    19: I took a guided tour of St. Mark’s that began when the lights were turned on, when happens for about an hour at midday. So glad I made that choice.

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  26. lincolns assassination, the titanic (which was more of a british project) and the boston marathon bombing, but that’s not representative enough,

    narciso (d1f714)

  27. All last week I had a hankering for French cigarettes, Gitanes in particular even if they cause impuissance, although I wouldn’t have turned down Gauloises Brunes either. They haven’t been available here for a long time, may the fleas of a thousand camels infest the loincloths of the FDA. Yesterday, I bought some Drum Halfzware Shag Blue and made my own with my usual pre-formed cigarette tubes. Coincidence or premonition?

    nk (dbc370)

  28. Columbine, Branch Davidian burn out, Oklahoma City I’m sure a few tornadoes given the season, and that tragedy that snuffed out a chance at a 51st star, the Bay of Pigs, if one chooses.

    urbanleftbehind (6a358f)

  29. 26- The tile floors in St. Marks have to be one of the most labor intense tile jobs of all time.

    mg (8cbc69)

  30. Why would anyone say something snarky about this tragedy?

    I just want to return to my own planet. It’s not this one.

    I have never traveled much. But when I was in the Netherlands and England, seeing very old buildings moved me. I didn’t have much of a drive to visit Paris (I don’t speak French), but that doesn’t matter: the Cathedral is one of those hallmarks of Western Civilization. I’m sorry I never saw it.

    Simon Jester (9d3cf3)

  31. it’s about the impermanence of things, from Ozymandias going to back to jesus, post temple predictions, what remains in the end,

    narciso (d1f714)

  32. “Coincidence or premonition?”

    Neither. Just a bad habit.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  33. “This report says one of the towers was lost and one was saved.”

    I’m only seeing that the central spire collapsed, which is certain cause they showed it going down on TV.

    The two towers I was referring to are the main ones you see on either side of the famous massive doors.

    They were talking about this earlier and saying how worried they were on the structural integrity of the towers because that’s where the massive bells are located and the possibility of many tons of metal coming down on first responders.

    harkin (0e8c36)

  34. Reportedly a photo from inside tonight:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/KevinYounge/status/1117928642502377472/photo/1

    harkin (0e8c36)

  35. My best regards to the firefighters! Their courage here and in many other places is truly inspirational.
    I will certainly contribute to the rebuilding effort. Let’s wrap our arms around the French people and tell them that they can count on us.

    Slugger (223d64)

  36. @23. Consider their firm’s insurance liabilities, too. Quite a sad mess. Recall the first time visiting ND; you walked in and instantly look up toward the cavernous roof. You had to; like being drawn to gaze upward. The space w/t accompanying light through those magnificent old windows was unforgettable. The Catholic church ain’t poor, though; revenue to rebuild will be found; expect a ‘fire sale’ of sorts, too; what can’t be recycled to use in the rebuild – like the lead, glass, ash or wood fragments will be fashioned into trinkets, jewelry and such to help raise funds. Could take a decade or two–and assembling the skilled artisans to recreate what was lost has to be a very small group.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  37. ABC news has a live feed. It looks like people are up in the former roof area taking a look.

    Nic (896fdf)

  38. Very sad. I’ve read much of the art has been saved. I wonder if the stained glass windows were also saved.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  39. I was worried about the Bells, but remembered that Rosie said “Steel doesn’t melt” – so i guess they’re OK.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  40. R.I.P. Georgia Engel

    Icy (bc856f)

  41. They entered the cathedral, and the cross still stands. ✝️

    Icy (bc856f)

  42. Mediaite doesn’t read it’s own copy and forgets that one of the commentators is a deputy mayor, heck of a job dan abrams.

    Narciso (c6ab85)

  43. Yes I loved that I walked where so many others walked.

    In St. Peters at the Vatican there is a purple stone floor where Charlemagne was crowned. Oh my…I stood there in awe.

    Patricia (3363ec)

  44. I wonder if the stained glass windows were also saved.

    Sadly, it appears they were not.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  45. Mrs. P. and I toured Europe in 1993. Every one of the five days we were in Paris we went to Notre Dame. When my sisters and mom visited Paris for one day, nine days ago, I told them that was the one place they had to see. They were among the last people on Earth (OK, maybe a couple hundred thousand came after them) to ever see the rose windows.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  46. We were there I think a couple of years ago and our kids got to see the cathedral and the windows. I’m glad they did.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  47. Just so emotional watching the fire ravage Norte Dame… my wife had a chance to see it and says she feels so fortunate to have done so. She says the beauty is hard to adequately describe… they were conducting a mass when she visited in the Summer of 2008 and it was one of the highlights of that trip. I was too busy with work, so it’s my loss.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  48. We were there I think a couple of years ago and our kids got to see the cathedral and the windows. I’m glad they did.

    That’s just it. I went to mass there when I made my first visit in 2010. It was a great experience, even if I don’t speak a word of French. I was just discussing it with my mother, and all we could think to say is how glad we were to have had the chance to see the church, because based upon what we can expect with France these days the restoration will likely take at least 20 years. And that assumes that France is going got even attempt to reconstruct the cathedral, which given the link that I posted in a comment earlier, I can’t be quite sure that they will.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  49. A billionaire has supposedly promised to pay for the restoration.

    From what I can tell from news reports, it seems the West Window and the western facade (including towers) were not damaged. The spire which provided the most dramatic footage of the fire is actually a 19th century addition, built during a renovation inspired by Victor Hugo’s novel.

    Bear in mind that this cathedral, for all its fame, is not the most artistically important French cathedral: Chartres, Reims (where the kings of France were usually crowned), and a couple of others probably outrank it. Even in Paris it has a rival, the Sainte Chappelle (built to hold the same Crown of Thorns which is now the possession of Notre Dame).

    Kishnevi (65f98d)

  50. In St. Peters at the Vatican there is a purple stone floor where Charlemagne was crowned. Oh my…I stood there in awe.

    Not literally the same spot, since the basilica Charlemagne knew was torn down and replaced in the 16th and 17th centuries with the current one, under the supervision of a series of architects that included Michelangelo. What you saw is presumably the best guess the Renaissance masons could make as to where Charlemagne was positioned.

    Kishnevi (65f98d)

  51. .. a couple of others probably outrank it.

    For sheer awesomeness, it’s Amiens (as I mentioned above). Beauvais is very tall, but incomplete. Most historical layers: probably Rouen. (If you want to hear the best pipe organ in Paris, it’s in St. Sulpice. Best anywhere: St. Ouen.)

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  52. @51. They’ve vowed to reconstruct– it’s assembling the skilled artisians familiar w/the ‘old ways’ of recreating stained glass and leaded windows/roofing for these structures, the wood and stone workers and such, that’s going to be quite challenging. It’s a small club. The methods to recreate the colors and glass and such is quite a tricky process, too. And you have to figure a reconstruct is going to incorporate a modern fire suppression system of some kind- likely chemical, similar to what they installed in NYC’s St. Patrick’s.

    It’s a cinch it won’t suffer the fate of Coventry Cathedral- a similar gothic of the period- after it was bombed and burned out in the Blitz. And consider, it is a tourist draw for France so there’s an economic incentive to rebuild ASAP as well- but if they take their time and do it right- figure 10 to 20 years, easy. Just glad in the modern era, excellent records exist to accurately replicate what was lost.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  53. Also: the Basilica of St Denis is very important as the prototype of the Gothic style, and burial place of kings & queens. While the neighborhood has become a bit dodgy, the church is very close to a metro station. It’s worth visiting to soak up the sense of history.

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  54. @54 It’s certainly something to stand on the spot where Joan of Arc was burned.

    Nic (896fdf)

  55. R.I.P. Gene Wolfe, the greatest, most challenging science fiction & fantasy writer of the past 40 years

    Icy (bc856f)

  56. The modern Coventry Cathedral is probably one of the most artistically impressive churches built in the 20th centure. But I suppose the French will adopt, on a much grander scale, the slogan the Venetians used during the rebuilding of the Fenice theatre: As it was, where it was!

    Kishnevi (65f98d)

  57. @59. Oh yes, it’s a masterpiece for the 20th century.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  58. R.I.P. Gene Wolfe, the greatest, most challenging science fiction & fantasy writer of the past 40 years

    I’d let Roger Zelazny and Jack Vance share those titles, and give him an Honorable Mention behind Larry Niven, Fred Saberhagen, Mike Resnick, and a few others, but he did write four almost good books late in his career — Soldier Of The Mist, Soldier Of Arete, The Knight, and The Wizard. And he was a Chicagoan. May he rest in peace.

    nk (dbc370)

  59. UPDATE BY PATTERICO: This CNN story says that the rose windows have all survived contrary to previous reports. The organ supposed survived as well. What a relief.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  60. Good to know about the windows, and the organ. And apparently the plan for evacuating treasures worked just as it was supposed to. (Doesn’t matter that the “relics” are silly to me; they’re important to a lot of other people.)
    I just read that a disproportionate number of “heritage” fires happen when repair or restoration work is being done — which generally involves the application of heat. A “false ceiling” is also a hazard.

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  61. The building may never be the same but it can be rebuilt. To me, the Rose Windows would have been the greatest loss. I am so glad they survived.

    DRJ (d18ca6)

  62. this is what it looked like nearly four years ago,

    https://www.billiedoux.com/2015/11/notre-dame-de-paris.html

    narciso (d1f714)

  63. But looking at Sammy’s link, it appears some of the stained glass windows are gone.

    DRJ (d18ca6)

  64. The spire was not added until the 19th Century.

    DRJ (d18ca6)

  65. Fire can be a cleansing occurrence. Conservationists have struggled for years to raise revenue to mend ancient structures like Notre Dame- particularly as they remain open and operating. Chance are, had unlimited resources been available, elements like the roof and other distressed areas would have been modernized and replaced long ago– if only for its own good. Today, financial pledges are rolling in. And with many of the ‘treasures’ saved, they’ll rebuild and restore for the better. And 150 years from now, in 2069, when the place turns 1,000 years old or so, future generations will be reading the chapter about ‘The Great Fire of 2019.’

    Macon has just pledged to his country and the world that they will rebuild and restore Notre Dame in five years. Ambitious. So was going to the moon within a decade; Man did it in eight. So don’t bet against France returning Notre Dame to full glory in five.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  66. typo ^ 2169.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  67. I had a comeback in mind with regard to Macron, but I will shush and be forever regretful I did not do a tour of Europe or a study abroad semester like so many.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  68. karsenty was the one who challenged the al durrah hoax, of course no good deed goes unpunished:

    https://www.conservativereview.com/news/russia-hoaxer-shep-smith-shuts-notre-dame-fire-speculation-show/

    narciso (d1f714)

  69. It should be rebuilt as a mosque like st. sophia in istanbul.

    ilman omar (fa91df)

  70. Interesting question (to me anyway) – should they rebuild the frame in wood, or using some lighter, stronger (and very-likely cheaper) fire-resistant modern material?

    I’ve read several stories saying that trees of sufficient size to replace the original beams simply don’t exist (I imagine there are trees somewhere big enough, but maybe not the same/right kind of wood).

    Dave (1bb933)

  71. 72, the tree rots from fairly high-up at FNC these days: James Murdoch gave 3K to Butt-Edge-Edge and the network hosted some town hall where Bernie Sanders showed signs he’s listening to Kevin M. for advice.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  72. Good to know things aren’t as bad as first thought.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  73. DCSCA, 5 years is ambitious and optimistic. Macron made that pledge because Paris will be hosting the Olympics in 2024, and he wants to have the cathedral open for tourism by then. But that is not a good reason to rush the rebuilding and renovation. The true intent should be to restore Notre Dame to its glory, as close to authentic as possible.

    It will take a few weeks or months to fully assess the structural damage and integrity, before the project can begin to be planned. It is true that modern technology will advance the process. Here’s an article about two art professors who laser scanned the entire building, inside and out, in 2010, so as to create a 3-D image of the architecture, accurate down to the millimeter.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/04/laser-scans-could-help-rebuild-notre-dame-cathedral/587230/?utm_source=feed

    So there is an exact blueprint available, much more precise than earlier schematics, drawings and photographs. Already over $700 million has been pledged to fund the restoration, and once planning for the project begins and sites for contributions are set up, hundreds of millions more will be raised. Donations will come in from a billion devout and lapsed Catholics all over the world, probably totaling over $1 trillion, thus no expense will be spared.

    However, medieval historians must be consulted. Most modern architects don’t have a clue about medieval architecture. I don’t know why we refer to it as Gothic, as the Goths had nothing to do with it. A more accurate descriptive term would be Celtic Christian.

    I find the Celts most fascinating. Some books to read are Celts: Art and Identity; Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction; and Celtic Art: From It’s Beginnings to the Book of Kells. All are wonderfully illustrated.

    Celtic artisans were crafting fractal designs over two thousand years before the development of the super computer and the advent of chaos theory and fractal geometry. Think on that. The ancient Celts were ultimately the ancestors of all the pagan peoples of Europe and Britain. When they were converted to Christianity, after the conversion of Constantine and the formation of the Roman Catholic Church, their art and architecture became realized in their newfound faith. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Chi-Rho monogram, the frontispiece to the Book of Kells (circa 900 AD). It is a vivid depiction of the Word in the World of the World from the Word–“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Word is Christ.

    The Celts were far more in tune with Nature, the geometry of which is fractal. That is why their art is so intricate and complex. So too is their Christian architecture of cathedrals. They and their descendants believed the geometry of Nature is infused with the Word of God.

    Look at what they built over centuries, generations, without computers. It is a serious mistake to think that these ancient and medieval people were not highly sophisticated. Modern people, with computers, cannot even build an overpass without it collapsing in a day, or a plane that doesn’t crash upon takeoff. Do you really think they can rebuild in a few years what it took centuries to build?

    Yeah, the moon landing was an incredible achievement, and it did involve computers, but most of the technicians involved used slide rulers to make their calculations. (They were old school.) That was a technological achievement. And several of the missions failed, once over-reliance on computers (new school) prevailed.

    We’re talking about the restoration of art and architecture here. The skills and knowledge of which have been lost or forgotten, except by a few. A cheap imitation is all you can expect in five years. A glorious restoration will take twenty years at least.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  74. @77. As mentioned, artisans w/t skill set to replicate and fashion items is a small club. But they’re around- and there’s no shortage of funding now. Fortunately, the interior, as with many of these old sites, has been documented and laser-measured in recent years down to the micro-measurement. And they’ve been adding bits and pieces for centuries to it as it is. Expect modernization from this era to be incorporated – it’s just a natural progression– [ND had a telephone or two and electric light or two as well within its confines– even a TV and computer or two 😉 ] Perhaps more modern, more fire resistant materials for the roof, etc. That was always a vulnerable thing. It’s just common sense – had similar materials we have now been available back in the day, they’d have used them. It’s just another chapter in the long history of the edifice. In a way, this may have been a blessing in disguise as when renovations are finished, it’ll be in much better shape than squeaking by w/t ‘patch work’ they’ve been doing.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  75. Elecreical equipment is known to increase the risk of fres, so that’s why they didn’t put in any electrical fire prevention systems.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/16/world/europe/why-notre-dame-fire-spread.html

    “There had been a systematic refusal to install anything electrical” within “the forest” because of the risk, said Pierre Housieaux, president of the Paris Historical Association. “Everyone knew that the attic was the most fragile part.”

    They had an alarm. The first alarm went off at 6:20 pm Paris time, 25 minutes before the regular closing at 6:45. They got people out and went up to look to see what was the problem. They found nothing.

    Then the second alarm came at 6:43. This time the fire was found, but soon turned out to be out of control.

    They were still in the process of erecting scaffolding, but it’s maybe not that, because Julien Le Bras, the chief executive of the company in charge of that, Le Bras Frères, says none of the 12 people ho worked on the site for that were there at the time.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  76. @79. Meh. In retrospect, a few $25 battery operated smoke detectors picked up at “Le Chateau Depot” might have been a smart move.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  77. Ranch? And did he just fly back from across the ocean? http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/apr/17/man-gas-cans-arrested-st-patricks-cathedral-new

    urbanleftbehind (6a358f)

  78. We live in a sick world:

    A man is in custody after he tried to enter St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York on Wednesday night with gallons of gasoline, lighter fluid and lighters, authorities said.

    […]

    The man has not been identified but when he is charged with a crime, police will release his identity, [NYPD Deputy Police Commissioner John] Miller added.

    Dave (1bb933)

  79. @82. Clouseau!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

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