Notre Dame fire

People around the world watched in shock as a fire raged through Notre Dame in Paris on April 15th. This cathedral was recognized around the globe as a magnificent achievement that stood the test of time until this Spring’s fire.

Extraordinarily wealthy donors banded together promising the funds to rebuild Notre Dame in the wake of the fire. French President Emmanuel Macron even promised to have this completed in five years. But, the recently released video below shows the extent of the damage and has experts questioning if the iconic cathedral can be saved at all.

Notre Dame de Paris 

Notre Dame de Paris was built between 1163 and 1345. Its beauty was unparalleled. It’s almost impossible to understate its importance to Catholicism, history, and architecture. Hundreds of years of weddings, funerals, and other sacraments were performed at the cathedral.

It is an institution not just for France, but for the entire world. That’s why the lack of progress is so alarming.

Risk Of Collapse

Notre Dame is still roofless and threatening to collapse since the fire. The interior remains exposed as the medieval cathedral faces its first winter  since the devastating fire. Worsening matters, tarps have not prevented rain from seeping inside.

The scaffolding sustained significant damage in the fire. Workers must built support before removing the damaged scaffolding can be removed. This isn’t even scheduled to happen until June of next year.

White tents in front of the the cathedral house damaged stones and wood. It is hoped that these original pieces will be used in the restoration, but that is not for certain due to the extent of the damage.

Chief Architect ‘Absolutely Cannot Say’ Notre Dame Will Be Saved

Philippe Villeneuve is the chief architect of the restoration effort. He is being rather blunt and honest about his assessment of the situation the cathedral currently faces. As the man in charge of this vital and complex restoration effort, he is unsure if the international landmark can or will be rebuilt.

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“If we remove the burned wood and the pieces of the framing that burned, and the metal elements that accumulated since April 15, we don’t know what will happen,” Villeneuve said. “So today we absolutely cannot say that Notre-Dame has been saved.”

It will be a monumental tragedy if Notre Dame cannot be restored to its former glory. This awe-inducing cathedral was crafted in a manner that is as special as it was historic. You simply can’t find this type of craftsmanship in modern architecture. The famed cathedral is an important vestige of art, history, and faith.

The video below shows the extent of the damage. It is rather alarming given the rosy picture that President Macron has painted regarding the reconstruction.

As monuments fall and traditions are shattered, we must all pray that this remarkable house of God be restored.

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