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View that Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris as work-related paused. Photograph by Robin Utrecht/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Studios/Future Publishing/Getty Images.

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One year earlier today, the people watched in fear as a fire swept through Paris’s top Notre Dame Cathedral, sending out its spire crumbling come the ground, caving in that is ceiling, and setting alight its historical interior. And now, with the country on lockdown, restoration initiatives on the Gothic structure have been placed on hold, forcing a team the 100 engineers, scientists, architects, and also archeologists to cease your tireless occupational on the damaged structure.

The target day for completing the facility and breakable restoration has always been 2024, gradually for Paris to hold the Olympic Games. Yet experts have actually been cynical of that timeline indigenous the start. And also since President Emmanuel Macron announced the ambitious target simply two job after the fire, there have been significant delays—over high winds and also record warm that additional endangered the dilute structure, investigating concerns that lead air pollution unleashed by the please of the roof, and now the coronavirus shutdown.

“The aim is come reopen the cathedral in 2024 also though the work-related won’t every be done,” Stéphane Tissier, director of to work on the project, told TIME. “The objective will be the that the general public will have the ability to reenter in 2024.” (Prior come the current lockdown, there was speculation the the cathedral’s forecourt would be opened to visitors as early on as March.)

With work-related at a standstill, engineers are relying ~ above laser surveillance systems to detect any type of structural activity that can trigger one more collapse. Return firefighters to be able to save the cathedral’s nave and twin bell towers, the soot of the fire quiet puts the church’s structure integrity in ~ risk.


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Smoke billows together flames burn through the roof of the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral top top April 15, 2019, in the French resources Paris. Photo courtesy Fabien Barrau/AFP/Getty Images.


“All you’ve been hearing so much for the last couple of months is that this is quiet a really fragile situation,” Lindsay Cook, a professor of medieval art and also architectural background at new York’s Vassar College, said National Geographic. “And to simply leave it over there seems favor it’s just asking for trouble over time.”

Further complicating matters space the continues to be of scaffolding put up six months before the disaster for a reconstruction project. Removing the scaffolding is supposed to take 4 months of painstaking work, ensuring the falling pieces won’t further damage the building or damaged workers. Just after is it removed can building begin.

And return there was an global outpouring that €922 million (more than $1 billion) in promised donations in the immediate results of the fire, lot of the money has actually yet to materialize. Whether it will in the current an international economic climate is an open up question.

The hold-up in job-related is also preventing investigators native definitively identify the cause of the fire, reports Le journal des Arts. Experts still haven’t to be able come gain access to the area wherein the blaze is believed to have begin, and that area will not be easily accessible until the scaffolding come down.

After a two-month examination that contained the testimony the 100 witnesses, the Paris publicly prosecutor’s office announced in June that the leading concept was the the sparks that ignited the fire must have actually come from one of two people an electrical quick circuit or one improperly turn off cigarette.


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A male wearing a protective mask rides his bicycle in front of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after repair occupational stops because of the an international health crisis. Photograph by Stephane Cardinale, courtesy of Corbis/Corbis/Getty Images.


But despite the long road ahead, there is factor for optimism.

“What matters isn’t the roof and vault so lot as the sanctuary lock protect. The love of Notre Dame had been saved,” Aline Magnien, director of the historical Monuments study Laboratory, which is in charge of nationwide monument conservation, said the magazine Science.

Another sign of expect came throughout Holy Week, as soon as a group gathered in ~ the cathedral come say mass for just the second time because the fire.

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“A year ago, the cathedral was destroyed,” the celebrant, Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit, called BFMTV. “Today the nation is ravaged by a pandemic. There’s always a article of hope, and this celebration at the heart of the cathedral will certainly be the sign of our hope.”

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