French President Emmanuel Macron has arbitrated in the year-long debate over the rebuilding of Notre Dame cathedral, which was severely damaged by fire in April 2019, with a decision to return it to exactly how it was before, including its 19th-century landmark spire that was destroyed in the blaze, after several architectural projects had proposed a modern rfeincarnation, including a swimming pool on the roof.
A fire that broke out Friday on one of France's six nuclear attack submarines during renovation in the southern port of Toulon was described as 'serious' by a French navy official after it took 14 hours to bring under control, while defence minister Florence Parly insisted 'there was not a nuclear accident'.
The repairs to Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris entered a critical stage on Monday when work began to remove the tubular metal scaffolding that melted together in the fire that almost destroyed the landmark in April 2019, an operation that runs the danger of damaging the limestone walls supporting the gothic vault.
General Jean-Louis Georgelin, who is co-ordinating the project of restoring the fire-damaged Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, says that delays, including that caused by the coronavirus epidemic, could still be overcome to return the building 'to a place of worship within five years'.
As repair work continues on the fire-damaged 850-year-old Gothic cathedral, Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve will be moved to the church of Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois.
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.