Work on cleaning up the damage to Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, which was severely damaged by fire in April, resumed on Monday after a break of three weeks due to widespread lead contamination from the building, the extent of which was revealed by Mediapart last month.
Out of 175 children so far tested after the April fire at the cathedral, 16 have levels of lead in their blood above the threshold at which an initial alert is raised, according to figures from the Paris regional health authority. Two have concentrations above the level at which lead poisoning is officially declared, though one of these cases is not apparently linked to lead from the blaze. Meanwhile the parents of one child with high lead levels in his blood have spoken of the “Kafkaesque” response of the authorities to their plight. Pascale Pascariello reports.
Environmental protection NGO Robin des Bois has filed a lawsuit claiming 'the relevent authorities, including the diocese [...] neglected to assist residents, visitors and workers, allowing them to be exposed to the toxic fallout' of lead pollution caused by the fire that ravaged Notre Dame cathedral in April, following Mediapart's report earlier this month of high levels of lead contamination in the surrounding area.
Levels of lead concentration 400 to 700 times the maximum authorised limit have been detected in the ground inside and around Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris since the fire that destroyed it in April, according to confidential documents seen by Mediapart. Neither the regional health authority nor the Paris police authorities – who have carried out one of the tests - have passed on these results to people living near by or people working in contaminated areas. One reason for not doing so is apparently the fear of alarming people. Pascale Pascariello reports.
A fire that broke out early Saturday morning in a residential building in central Paris has left three people deadd, including a woman who jumped from a window, another person seriously injured, and 27 more people needing treatment for minor injuries.
Despite making headline pledges to hand hundreds of millions of euros for the rebuilding of Notre-Dame after a fire that severely damaged the Paris cathedral in April, luxury goods groups LVMH and Kering, the cosmetics giant L'Oréal and oil company Total have still to honour their promises, while reconstruction work involving up to 150 workers is being paid for by small donors.
Architects fear that heavy rainfall - forecast for the French capital on Wednesday - could result in further collapse of the 800-year-old cathedral.
The rector of Notre-Dame, Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, has said that a wooden structure to receive worshippers should be erected in front of the fire-damaged 850-year-old cathedral while it is repaired, which is expected to take at least five years.
As the vast and costly project to rebuild Notre-Dame cathedral after the huge damage caused by fire on Monday, individuals have begun donating to a public fund for the reconstruction, while several corporations have pledged contributions totalling of several hundred million euros.
Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, which was devastated by fire on Monday evening, occupies a very special place in France because of its combination of the secular, the sacred and the profane, and its symbolic representation of the country as a whole.
A fire that erupted early Monday evening in the upper sections of the 850-year-old Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris was still buring late into the night after destroying the world-renowned building's roof and famous spire, although more significant damage is feared to both its structure and historic artefacts.
An Italian-owned cargo ship carrying thousands of vehicles from Germany to Morocco when it caught fire and sank about 260 kilometres off France's Atlantic Coast on Tuesday, was also transporting 45 containers of "dangerous materials", French regional maritime authorities have confirmed.
One person has been arrested after the blaze in the 16th arrondissement, near the Parc des Princes football stadium in south-west of capital.
A fire which swept rapidly through a building housing seasonal workers at the French Alpine ski resort of Courchevel on Sunday morning left at least two people dead and another 22 injured.