Journey to pre-fire glory still long for Notre-Dame - GulfToday

Journey to pre-fire glory still long for Notre-Dame

Notre Dame

Construction work to secure the Paris Notre Dame. AFP

Gulf Today Report 

Two years ago, the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris was engulfed with fire, destroying the spire and much of the roof but firefighters ensured that the great mediaeval edifice survived the night.


The road to restoring the historical building has been long and arduous, it is estimated to be concluded by April 2024. 


The cause of the blaze remains a subject of uncertainty, although investigators are so far rejecting any idea of foul play and focusing on a short-circuit or even a dropped cigarette as possible explanations.


"We are on course to return the cathedral for worship in 2024. But there is still a lot of work," Jean-Louis Georgelin, the straight-talking former general handpicked by President Macron to lead the restoration efforts, said last month.


Notre-Dame 1

Inside the Notre-Dame-de Paris Cathedral, a day after the fire. AFP


No certainty

The restoration is aided by 833 million euros donation made nationally and internationally. Although that may not be enough. 


The interior of the cathedral is today marked by a web of scaffolding, surrounded by nets and tarpaulins, where carpenters, rope workers, scaffolders and crane operators hurry around.


Investigation on the cause of the fire was completed recently and experts have moved to the stage of analyzing all the evidence collected. 


Several shortcomings in the security of the cathedral were identified -- in particular in the alarm system which meant that the alert to firefighters was late -- and in the electrical system of one of the elevators.


About one hundred witnesses were interviewed in the space of two months alone.


Notre Dame 2

Roses laid near Notre-Dame-de Paris Cathedral after the fire. AFP


Happy end

Streaming giant Netflix is preparing a six-episode miniseries produced in cooperation with the Paris fire brigade which will look at the impact of the fire on different people across France.


A rival English-language series is also expected based on a major investigation into the fire carried out by the New York Times.


And French director Jean-Jacques Annaud, who made "The Name of the Rose", has also started work on a feature film about the disaster which is expected in 2022 and will intersperse archive footage with drama.


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