Ancient tombs and statues discovered during Notre Dame restoration

France — Link

As restoration work continues on Notre Dame cathedral, following a fire in April 2019 which came close to destroying the whole of the Paris landmark, archaeologists have discovered ancient tombs, statues and a body-shaped sarcophagus buried under the building and dating from the Middle Ages. 

Notre-Dame two-year rebuild ends, restoration to begin

France — Link

Almost two and a half years after it was almost destroyed by fire, work to secure the structure of Notre-Dame cathedral has been completed, making way now for the restoration of the Paris landmark which is due to reopen to the public in 2024.

Legal complaint targets authorities over Notre-Dame lead pollution

France — Link

A joint formal legal complaint for 'placing the lives of others in danger' has been filed by Paris residents, a trades union and an anti-pollution association over the lack of action to remove significant lead contamination that fell around Notre-Dame cathedral due to the April 2019 blaze which severely damaged the landmark. 

Nice church attack: the trauma in a city again hit by terrorism

France — Report

  The terrorist knife attack last Thursday against a church in the Riviera city of Nice, when a 21-year-old Tunisian murdered two women and the basilica’s warden, has deeply shocked the local population. For many, the traumatic events brought back the horror of one of France’s worst terrorist attacks, on July 14th 2016, when a truck was driven into Bastille Day crowds on the city’s seafront boulevard, the Promenade des Anglais, killing 86 people. Sana Sbouai reports from Nice where locals tell her of their mixed feelings of anger, fear and despondency.

How millions of euros donated to rebuild Notre-Dame are to go on administrative costs

France — Investigation

Mediapart has seen a copy of the provisional report by France's audit body, the Cour des Comptes, into how the 833 million euros raised in donations to restore the famous Paris cathedral that caught fire in April 2019 are being spent. The report, which is still confidential, makes clear the watchdog's dismay that not all of the money – some of which comes from individual donors around the world - is being used solely for the reconstruction work. Various foundations are taking a cut in administrative fees and and even the state is getting a share of it. Pierre Januel reports.

Notre Dame to be restored to pre-fire appearance

France — Link

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.

Craftsmen urge Notre Dame rebuild with medieval techniques

France — Link

As debate continues on the architectural style and materials to be employed in the rebuilding of the fire-damaged Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, an association of carpenters is arguing for axe-hewn oak wood to be used for the roof frame, as in the 13th century, and its members have gathered at a workshop in Normandy to build a truss for the iconic landmark using medieval techniques.

Work starts on riskiest stage of Notre-Dame repairs

France — Link

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.

Head of Notre Dame restoration work says deadline could still be met

France — Link

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'.

No Christmas mass at Notre-Dame for first time in 200 years

France — Link

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.

Notre Dame architect should 'shut his mouth' says army general

France — Link

French army general Jean-Louis Georgelin, appointed to steer the rebuilding of Notre Dame cathedral after it was seriously damaged by a fire in April, has told a parliamentary cultural affairs committee that the architect in charge of the project should "shut his mouth" over a conflict about the replacement of the edifice's spire.

Women in failed Notre Dame car bomb plot jailed

France — Link

Inès Madani, 22, and Ornella Gilligmann, 32, were sentenced to jail sentences of 30 years and 25 years respectively on Monday after being found guilty by a Paris court of attempting – although,  in the event, failing – to set off a car bomb close to Notre Dame cathedral in Septembner 2016, which prosecutors said could have killed or wounded around 60 people in a nearby bar.

Notre Dame clean-up resumes after halt over lead contamination

France — Link

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. 

Parents talk of 'Kafkaesque' official response to Notre Dame toxic lead fears


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.

Calls for Notre-Dame cathedral to be sealed over lead fears

France — Link

Blaze that destroyed cathedral's spire and roof also melted massive quantities of lead, toxic dust from which has been deposited on the ground.