France’s Notre Dame Cathedral to be rebuilt without modern touches

French Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot earlier said that a ‘broad consensus’ existed to reconstruct ‘identically’ the spire of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, above. (AFP)
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Updated 10 July 2020

France’s Notre Dame Cathedral to be rebuilt without modern touches

  • Plan includes recreating the 19th century spire designed by architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc

PARIS: Notre Dame Cathedral will be rebuilt just the way it stood before last year’s devastating fire.
No swimming pool or organic garden on the roof of the medieval Paris monument, or contemporary glass spire, or other modern twists. And to stay historically accurate, it will again be built with potentially toxic lead.
That’s the verdict reached by French President Emmanuel Macron, the cathedral’s present-day architects and the general in charge of the colossal reconstruction project for one of the world’s most treasured landmarks.
Macron, who wants Notre Dame reopened in time for the 2024 Olympics, had initially pushed for a contemporary touch atop the cathedral, prompting eye-catching proposals from architects around the world.
But Macron came around to the traditionalists’ argument, and approved reconstruction plans for the 12th century monument that were presented Thursday, according to a statement from the state agency overseeing the project.
The plan includes recreating the 19th century spire designed by architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc that collapsed in the fire and “favors fidelity to the monument’s form and a restoration of the cathedral in its latest state,” the statement said.
That means how Notre Dame was on the afternoon of April 15, 2019, before the fire broke out, consumed the roof and threatened the rose-windowed twin towers that keep the cathedral upright.
More than a year later, the structure remains unstable. It took nearly a year to clear out dangerous lead residue released in the fire and to get to the point where workers could start removing scaffolding that had been in place for a previous renovation effort. Actual reconstruction won’t start until next year.
The reconstruction plan presented Thursday says the project will replicate original materials “to guarantee the authenticity, harmony and coherence of this masterpiece of Gothic art.”
Those materials included tons of lead, which is raising concerns among health and environmental groups. Lead particles released during the fire forced schools in the area to close and prompted a lengthy, painstaking cleanup effort of the cathedral’s historic neighborhood on an island in the center of Paris.


TWITTER POLL: Majority believes Hezbollah will be convicted of 2005 Hariri assassination

Updated 13 August 2020

TWITTER POLL: Majority believes Hezbollah will be convicted of 2005 Hariri assassination

DUBAI: A special UN-backed tribunal is set to announce its verdict on the 2005 murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri on Aug. 18 – and an Arab News Twitter poll showed majority thinks Hezbollah will be convicted.

Four alleged members of the Shiite group are on trial for the Beirut suicide bombing in 2005 that killed Hariri.

Arab News asked on Twitter whether the tribunal will convict the four, and out of 725 respondents, 64.6 percent said yes. The defendants will face life imprisonment if convicted.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) was going to announce the verdict on Friday, but had to postpone because of the deadly explosion at the Beirut port.

The court “is deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic events that shook Lebanon” and “expresses its solidarity with the Lebanese people in these difficult times,” it said in a statement announcing the ruling’s postponement.

STL is believed to be the first international tribunal set up to probe terrorist crimes.