Race Against Time for the ReOpening of Notre-Dame de Paris in 2024

With the First Phase of the Restoration of Notre Dame officially over, Jean-Louis Georgelin, the Man in Charge of Restoration, Outlined the Next Stages until the Reopening of the Building in 2024.

Newsroom (25/07/2022 3:09 PM, Gaudium Press) In an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro, General Jean-Louis Georgelin spoke about the next steps in the restoration of Notre-Dame de Paris.

Jean-Louis Georgelin, president of the public establishment in charge of the restoration of Notre-Dame de Paris, recently presented the final budget for the cathedral’s restoration.

Budget for the donations

Following the fire of 15 April 2019, more than 846 million euros have been raised. The sum is the result of the donation of 340,000 patrons and donors from 150 countries.

The general details that part of the money, 150 million, was used for the first phase of the restoration: cleaning and security of the site. A sum of 550 million is planned for the second phase, the restoration phase itself.

The rest of the money will be used for work and maintenance on the outside of the Cathedral.  The projects for these types of works are still to be discussed with the patrons and the Ministry of Culture.

However, General Georgelin stated that the entirety of the donations will go towards the restoration of the Cathedral, as already agreed with the patrons and donor foundations.

2024: a controversial Goal

During the interview, Jean-Louis commented on the planned date for the inauguration that has been proposed by President Emmanuel Macron:

“2024 is a tense, rigorous and complicated goal. But it is above all an ambition in the service of a mobilisation of all. We will fight to win this battle and be able to open for worship in 2024,” said the general.

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Facing the unforeseen

Talking about the difficulties and setbacks that any construction or restoration faces, Georgelin said that he works together with the architect in charge of the work, Philippe Villeneuve.

Both seek to propose solutions to adapt to the unforeseen events that arise during the work and stated that “The whole world is watching the cathedral’s progress and I do not want to join the cohort of those who do not succeed”.

The general spoke about the excavations that went past the planned deadline due to the discovery of ancient sarcophagi in the cathedral floor. The excavations were necessary for the foundation that will support the cathedral’s 600-tonne arrow.

New technologies for the Safety of the Building

The quality and current state of the oak trees that will serve as the roof structure was also a subject discussed during the aforementioned interview as well as new technologies to be applied to the building.

In order to fight against an eventual new fire, a system of emitting a fine mist of water droplets will be implemented. “The system is being simulated at the National Institute for the Environment and Industrial Risks (INERIS, in French), and the first results are excellent,” explains Georgelin.

The lead from the roof, which will be preserved in the structure, Jean-Louis Georgelin said that a water treatment system will be installed in the cathedral before throwing rainwater into the sewers.(FM)

Compiled by Florence MacDonald




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