Notre Dame ‘still very fragile’ amid restoration efforts

Notre Dame'still very fragile' amid restoration efforts
Photo: YouTube | FRANCE 24 English

According to Notre Dame Cathedral’s rector, the historic religious landmark is still at risk of destruction. Despite efforts to save the structure situated in Paris, a “50 percent chance” of it collapsing still looms. Scaffolding installed prior to the devastating fire that devoured it earlier this year is the main threat to the Gothic monument’s salvation.

Monsignor Patrick Chauvet said actual restoration shouldn’t be expected until 2021. For the first time in 200 years, the church did not hold a Christmas service since the French Revolution.

“Today it is not out of danger,” he said at Christmas Eve midnight Mass held in a nearby church. “It will be out of danger when we take out the remaining scaffolding.”

“Today we can say that there is maybe a 50% chance that it will be saved. There is also 50% chance of scaffolding falling onto the three vaults, so as you can see the building is still very fragile,” told the Associated Press.

Renovations were being made to the cathedral at the time of the accidental fire that burned it down last April. The devastation saw Notre Dame’s roof and spire collapsed. The 12th-century structure is now vulnerable without a roof to keep its surviving vaults sturdy.

NBC News reports that around 50,000 scaffolding tubes were attached to the cathedral back in April, some of which were also damaged in the blaze. Efforts to clear the scaffolding is proving to be a big challenge.

“We need to remove completely the scaffolding in order to make the building safe, so in 2021 we will probably start the restoration of the cathedral,” Chauvet told the media.