Notre Dame fire five years on: Restoration of Cathedral nearly complete

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Overview of the restoration project

The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is approaching the completion of its restoration, five years following the devastating fire of April 15, 2019.

Philippe Jost, the head of the public body overseeing the project, confirmed that the cathedral is set to reopen on December 8, 2024.

This ambitious project involved over 250 companies and numerous artisans, costing approximately 550 million euros, supported by significant donations from the public and private sectors.

Historical significance and current progress

The fire that severely damaged the cathedral’s roof and spire was a global spectacle, drawing international attention and donations for its restoration.

French President Emmanuel Macron emphasized the dual symbolic importance of the cathedral’s restoration, coinciding with the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.

Recent updates indicate that the structural restoration, including the iconic spire topped with a golden rooster, is on track, with the major architectural features restored and the site preparation for public access underway.

Contributions and commemorations

The restoration has been a monumental effort involving not only construction teams but also artists and craftsmen dedicated to replicating the cathedral’s historic features.

Notably, Philippe Jost mentioned the potential for surplus funds to address long-standing issues with the cathedral’s exterior stonework.

The project has also incorporated modern commemorative elements, such as a competition to design new stained glass windows to reflect the contemporary era.

Comments from key figures on Notre Dame restoration

Philippe Jost stated: “We are on time and on budget,” during a recent Senate hearing.

Emma Roux, an artisan working on the stained glass, described the project as “the construction work of a lifetime.”

Their comments underscore the complexity and dedication involved in the cathedral’s restoration, aiming for both historical fidelity and modern enhancements.

IFSJ Comment

The nearing completion of Notre Dame’s symbolises resilience and unity in the face of disaster.

The project serves as a testament to the collaborative efforts of various experts and the generous support of donors.

As we look forward to its reopening, Notre Dame stands as a beacon of historical continuity and architectural revival, ready to welcome visitors for generations to come.

Read and exclusive article from Steve Emery, Chair of the IFE Special Interest Group for Heritage Buildings, who looks at what we have learned about fire since the 2019 Notre-Dame disaster.

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