Photos: Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral isn’t saved yet
PARIS — The French general overseeing the reconstruction of fire-devastated Notre Dame Cathedral says the Paris landmark is not saved yet because there’s still a risk its vaulted ceilings might collapse.
Gen. Jean-Louis Georgelin told French broadcaster CNews on Sunday that “the cathedral is still in a state of peril” after last year’s fire, which destroyed its roof and toppled its 300-foot, 750-ton spire as the cathedral was undergoing renovations.
“Notre Dame is not saved because … there is an extremely important step ahead, which is to remove the scaffolding that had been built around the spire” before the fire, he said.
The rector of Notre Dame, Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, told the AP last month that the cathedral is still so fragile there’s a “50% chance” the structure might not be saved, because the scaffolding may fall onto the vaulted ceilings.
The scaffolding on Notre Dame should be removed by mid-2020 and the restoration work should start next year, he said. Officials hope the 12th-century cathedral rebuilt by 2024, when Paris hosts the Summer Olympics, but experts say that time frame is not realistic.