Notre-Dame Cathedral's 2023 Rebuild Progress Updates
In this CBS News feature, American television journalist and correspondent Bill Whitaker takes us through the captivating restoration project of Notre-Dame Cathedral. The report includes conversations with key individuals involved in the process, such as General Jean-Louis Georgelin, who serves as the French President’s special representative for the reconstruction, and Chief Architect Philippe Villeneuve. The report also showcases the innovative methods and technologies employed to revive the cathedral to its previous splendor.
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2022 Rebuild Progress Updates
Preliminary operations are already underway, like the major campaign to clean the interior of the cathedral. Over the next few months, the Établissement Public, the public agency in charge of managing the restoration, will issue calls for tender to source companies with expertise in the restoration of historical monuments to participate in the restoration. Outside of Notre-Dame Cathedral’s walls, the restoration of the Grand Organ and the cathedral’s works of art continues.
View these exclusive photos of the reconstruction of Notre-Dame Cathedral
2021 Rebuild Progress Updates
Two projects are now complete that are key to the next phase of Notre-Dame Cathedral’s reconstruction.
Now work can begin on the interior of the cathedral without the risk of the damaged scaffolding collapsing into the cathedral. Next, scaffolding will be built inside the cathedral to protect the vaults and provide support so they can undergo reconstruction. The scaffolding will help buttress the weight carried by the vaults, so construction can continue without risking the integrity of Notre-Dame Cathedral’s structure.
In early December, the Grand Organ was dismantled and removed, a project completed one month ahead of schedule. The Grand Organ’s pipes will now be taken for repair and extensive cleaning to remove lead dust that settled in the aftermath of the fire. The restoration work, organ reassembly and tuning are projected to finish by April 2024.
At the beginning of November, Michel Picaud, President of Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris went inside Notre-Dame Cathedral to take a look at the work that was underway.
Construction Resumes in 2020
On June 8, 2020 construction resumed on Notre-Dame Cathedral after a three-month pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The work is focused on continuing to remove the burned scaffolding that had surrounded the spire. In 2019, the spire was undergoing restoration and was destroyed during the fire on April 15. This cleanup effort should last until September but is subject to change as it is a delicate process to remove 30,000 tubes weighing 300 tons.
At the end of June, Michel Picaud, President of Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris was able to go inside Notre-Dame Cathedral for the first time in over a year.
Official Decision About the Spire
On July 9, 2020 the chief architects of Historical Monuments presented restoration plans for Notre-Dame Cathedral to the National Commission for Heritage and Architecture (CNPA), the advisory council that handles important restoration projects in France.
The study presented plans to respect the previously existing structure of the cathedral and to restore the monument to its last complete, coherent and known state.
This includes rebuilding a spire identical to the one designed in the 19th Century by architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, returning the cathedral’s appearance to how it existed before the fire of April 15, 2019. Rebuilding efforts will also use original materials, like wood for the roofing. The report states that these restoration measures will ensure the authenticity, harmony and coherence of this masterpiece of Gothic architecture.
CNPA unanimously approved the architects’ recommendations that Notre-Dame Cathedral be restored to its prior state. The French President Emmanuel Macron also shared his approval for this decision.