Nearly two and half years since the devastating fire, the Notre-Dame Cathedral has been deemed safe to begin rebuilding.
Securing the structure involved reinforcing fire-damaged vaults with wooden arches, replacing melted scaffolding, installing a massive tarp, and protecting the famous rose windows and sculptures like gargoyles.
Other efforts included clearing the area of toxic lead, installing screens to catch any debris inside the building, and removal of the historic organ for an off-site restoration.
With cleaning already underway, reconstruction efforts are expected to begin in the coming months. The cathedral will be restored to its original design as it was before the fire. French President Macron promised to reopen the Notre Dame by the 2024 summer Olympics in Paris, but it’s unclear if this deadline can be met.
As to the reconstruction of the famous spire and wooden roof known as “The Forest”: these were built with timber much longer than typically used in construction today. That’s why in June, foresters felled 200-year-old oak trees to attain the 85 feet long logs to build it. These trees came from a forest near Le Mans that used to supply the French naval shipwright hundreds of years ago.
Still, the cause of the fire has yet to be identified.