Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, which suffered a major fire eight months ago, is in danger of collapsing, warned the reconsideration of the historic 12th-century building.
"The cathedral is still in jeopardy," Jean-Louis Georgelin, who oversees the reconstruction work, said on Sunday to French news agency CNews.
According to the official, the ceiling of the cathedral can collapse when the scaffolding placed before the fire that consumed the monument on April 15 is removed.
"There is still an extremely important step in removing the scaffolding built around the spire," he said. The spire of the cathedral, remember, collapsed during the fire. It was 90 meters high and weighed 750 tons.
By the end of December, the dean of Notre Dame Cathedral was already realizing that reconstruction work would not be easy. Monsignor Patrick Chauvet estimated that there is a “50% probability” that the structure will not be completely saved, as scaffolding installed before the fire is threatening the monument's vaults.
The religious said that "the building is still very fragile". The works of the 850-year-old Parisian cathedral attempt to alleviate the damage caused by flames to the roof structure and central needle and take into account that the vaults are crucial in keeping the huge stone structure upright.
About 50,000 pipes formed scaffolding that crossed the back of the building when the disaster struck and some were damaged. Therefore, removing these parts without affecting the rest of the structure is one of the most complex tasks.
“We need to completely remove the scaffolding to make the building safe.
Probably by 2021, we will begin the restoration of the cathedral ”to“ assess the condition ”of the property and decide“ how many stones will be removed and replaced, ”Chauvet said in remarks to the Associated Press.
The April fire destroyed the entire roof of the French cathedral and the huge spire that marked one of the most iconic spots in Paris's landscape. Still, the firefighters, who took 15 hours to control the flames, managed to save the main belfries and external walls from collapsing before extinguishing the fire.
Some of the main relics of the cathedral's heritage, such as the Crown of Thorns, which was used by Jesus Christ in the crucifixion, were removed in time by firefighters. The investigation into the origin of the fire points to an accident related to works carried out in one of the wings of the monument.
The Notre-Dame tragedy has generated messages of condolence and solidarity from heads of state and government from various countries, including Portugal, as well as from the Vatican and the UN.
The French President has promised that the cathedral will be rebuilt within five years.