The installation phase of the new arrow that will be on top of the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris has begun, the visible phase of the “rebirth” of the Cathedral
Newsroom (03/31/2023 12:50, Gaudium Press) The installation phase of the new arrow that will be on top of the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris began in recent days. The new arrow will be identical to the one designed by architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc and destroyed during the fire that struck the cathedral on April 15, 2019.
After the cathedral fire, a total of four carpentry companies were commissioned to manufacture the wooden structure of the roof and the arrow. Over a thousand oak trees from all parts of France were carved to make the different parts of the structures.
Oak structures to support the cathedral’s roof and arrow
For the installation of the arrow, the carpenters built a huge oak structure capable of supporting the 500 tons of the other parts of the arrow. The base on which the rest of the arrow will be placed required the use of 110 pieces made from oak logs more than a meter in diameter and arranged like the pieces of a puzzle of complex geometry.
The base piece must be solid enough to support the rest of the structure, so its dimensions are enormous (14 meters long, 21 meters diagonal, and 6 meters high).
Testing the assembly
Before the structure is placed 30 meters high on top of the cathedral, the four companies responsible met last week in a workshop in eastern France to assemble the huge oak contraption in order to correct and adjust the last details.
The test assembly of the structure was a crucial step to millimeter-wise adjust the different parts of the base. In all, 30 companions (craftsmen skilled in the art of carpentry) participated in the assembly of the structure.
This step is a real breakthrough toward the end of the cathedral’s restoration, as Jean-Louis Georgelin, who is in charge of the building’s restoration, stated: “Remember! The whole world saw the collapse of the arrow live. You could hear people crying when we saw the needle fall, then the arrow in the transept. This is what we call our critical path and it is the strongest symbol of the reconstruction.”
The needle will be installed by the end of 2023
The chief architect of the restoration, Philippe Villeneuve, said the goal is to place the oak base on the four pillars of the cathedral’s central transept on April 15, the anniversary of the fire, to symbolize the “visible rebirth of Notre Dame.”
The rest of the structure that makes up the arrow, also nicknamed the needle, is 66 meters high and will be identical to the one designed by Viollet-le-Duc. According to Notra-Dame restoration officials, the arrow should be installed gradually throughout 2023. On December 8, the chief architect is scheduled to place the bronze rooster on top of the arrow, exactly the same as the one designed by Viollet-le-Duc. According to Notra-Dame restoration officials, the arrow should be installed gradually over the course of 2023. On December 8, the chief architect is scheduled to place the bronze rooster atop the arrow, exactly one year before the cathedral officially opens to the public. (FM)
Compiled by Teresa Joseph