Some eight months after a calamitous fire ripped through Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris while the religious landmark was under renovation, the rector of the Paris landmark says it is still so fragile that there is a “50 per cent chance” the structure might not be saved.
Scaffolding that was erected before April’s blaze is threatening the vaults of the Gothic monument, Patrick Chauvet told The Daily Mail.
Restoration work is not likely to begin until 2021. The famous church last week went without a Christmas celebration for the first time since the French Revolution.
Speaking at the replacement venue at the Saint-German l’Auxerrois Church last night, Chauvet said the church “is not out of danger.”
“Today we can say that there is maybe a 50 percent chance that it will be saved,” Chauvet said during a midnight Mass.
“There is also 50 percent chance of scaffolding falling onto the three vaults, so as you can see the building is still very fragile.
“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.
“Once the scaffolding is removed we need to assess the state of the cathedral, the quantity of stones to be removed and replaced.”
Chauvet guessed it would take another three years after that to make it safe enough for people to re-enter the cathedral, but that the complete restoration will take longer.
President Emmanuel Macron has said he wants it rebuilt by 2024, when Paris hosts the Olympics, but experts have questioned whether that time frame is realistic.