Fire-scarred Notre-Dame to broadcast Christmas concert

Fire-scarred Notre-Dame to broadcast Christmas concert
The Paris Fire Brigade tackles the flames as Notre-Dame Cathedral burns in Paris, April 15, 2019. (Reuters)
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Updated 30 November 2020

Fire-scarred Notre-Dame to broadcast Christmas concert

Fire-scarred Notre-Dame to broadcast Christmas concert
  • An organ will be rented for the occasion, since Notre-Dame’s majestic pipe organ is being carefully dismantled for cleaning and restoration
  • Restoration has reached a milestone with the removal of the last portions of metal scaffolding on the roof that melted into a tangled mess in the fire

PARIS: Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris will echo with song on Christmas Eve as it holds its first choir concert since the massive fire that nearly destroyed the gothic masterpiece last year.
An organ will be rented for the occasion, since Notre-Dame’s majestic pipe organ is being carefully dismantled for cleaning and restoration after the devastating blaze that struck on April 15, 2019.
Since then only two events have been held in the 13th-century landmark — a small mass celebrated in June 2019, and a prayer ceremony last April to mark Holy Friday.
The church remains closed to the public during the renovations.
Michel Aupetit, the archbishop of Paris, said Monday that two soloists would lead the choir and that the concert would be broadcast on radio.
Last week, the restoration reached a milestone with the removal of the last portions of metal scaffolding on the roof that melted into a tangled mess in the fire and threatened to crash to the floor.
That will allow crucial stabilization and protective work to proceed ahead of rebuilding the destroyed roof and spire.
Officials are racing to meet President Emmanuel Macron’s goal of having the cathedral restored within five years.


Egyptian mission finds remains of Roman fort in Aswan

Egyptian mission finds remains of Roman fort in Aswan
Updated 19 January 2021

Egyptian mission finds remains of Roman fort in Aswan

Egyptian mission finds remains of Roman fort in Aswan
  • Archaeologists discovered the remnants of a Roman fort, including part of a church from the early Coptic period, and a temple from the Ptolemaic dynasty
  • A sandstone panel was unearthed, with images of the temple entrance, a man in the form of a Roman emperor, and palm leave engravings

CAIRO: The Egyptian archaeological mission working at the Shiha Fort site in the Aswan Governorate has discovered the remnants of a Roman fort, including part of a church from the early Coptic period, and a temple from the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the mission discovered a group of architectural elements of the Ptolemaic temple inside the fort as well as an incomplete sandstone panel, with pictures of the model of the temple entrance, a man in the form of a Roman emperor, and four sandstone blocks engraved with palm leaves.

The mission also found a clay vase and part of a red-brick vault dating back to the Coptic era.

“The mission has completed the work of uncovering the remains of the monastery and the church, and there are indications they were built on the ruins of a fort. German archaeologist Hermann Junker was able to uncover part of it between 1920 and 1922. That mission revealed the extension of the remnants of a mud-brick wall surrounding the Shiha church from the western side,” Mohamed Abdel-Badi, head of the Central Department of Antiquities of Upper Egypt, said.

During excavations, Abdel-Badi expected to find the remains of a marina. “The area was a quarry for cutting stones during the Ptolemaic period and, naturally, there was a marina that was used to transport these stones to build forts and temples,” he said.

He explained that work is still underway to uncover the remains of the fort.