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Notre Dame Cathedral

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by Tiki Tom, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Practically Family

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    Cops and Firefighters formed a human-chain to save numerous works of art and relics inside the cathedral.

    Words cannot express my sadness about the fire. Ugh. “Is Paris Burning?”


    Notre Dame 2.jpg Notre Dame 1.jpg
     
  2. Artifex

    Artifex Familiar Face

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    One can only hope that this spurs the guardians of other historic buildings towards taking greater precautions. How many other nations have great monuments teetering one bad decision away from disaster?

    I fear the answer is "All of them".
     
  3. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

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    Terrible. Tragic. 185 years to build, flying buttress weight distribution, a marvelous architectural achievement.
     
  4. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean Call Me a Cab

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    Nope, don't worry. The Parisian firefighters did a great job saving the stone structure but the roof & the 13th century oak famework (charpente) are now ash. It will be impossible to reconstruct it as it was since some of the wooden beams were so wide that there are no longer any trees left with such girth.
    Although the relics* (including the crown of thorns supposedly worn by Christ ) & other artifacts were saved in time due to an evacuation plan triggered by an alarm, there is a doubt about the stained glass windows. If the pieces of glass survived the heat, they can be reconstituted.
    The cause is as yet unknown but the undergoing restauration work probably had something to do with it. It will take hundreds of millions of euros to rebuild, years maybe decades to complete & years of court battles with the various insurance companies.


    * When one knows the history of relics & their commercial value during the middle ages, there is next to no chance that any relic is genuine.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2019
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  5. Artifex

    Artifex Familiar Face

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    Shipwrights, who face a similar problem, have perfected the art of joining large timbers together to form composites with almost the same strength as the impossibly-large originals.

    The building was seriously damaged during WWII, wasn't it? I wonder how the new damage compares to the extent of the old.
     
  6. I saw something this morning saying that over 400 million euros of private money has already been pledged to a rebuild. Of course that’s just pledged, we’ll see how much actually arrives. But it’s a good sign that money will not be an issue.

    And who insures such a thing? I’m assuming the cathedral is owned by the church? Some things just go far beyond monetary compensation; if they’re gone, they’re gone...they cannot be replaced for an infinite amount of money.
     
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  7. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    It's owned by the French Government, and turned over to the RCC for its exclusive use.

    Reading about the history of the building, it's interesting how much of it's been renovated and rebuilt over the years anyway, like the proverbial Grandfather's Axe. The spire that collapsed was only about a hundred and seventy years old, not 800, and even some of the exterior stone is replacement. So in the long run, as awful as it is, this fire will go down as just another chapter in the long history of the building.

    I'd hate to be the worker whose sparking belt sander or spilled bucket of tar or whatever turns out to have been the cause.
     
  8. I was just going to post something like this. In 200 years, people will be talking about the 21st century fire, perhaps it’s even just a footnote.
     
  9. A side anecdote on ownership of historic places: not nearly as old as Notre Dame, but I once did some work at a refinery next door to the Mision San Francisco de la Espada in San Antonio, built in 1690. We had to do excavation on the other side of the fence on mission land, which required all sorts of approvals and oversight by a certified archeologist. We were told that the land was owned by the City of San Antonio, the buildings by the National Park Service, but all furnishings and any artifact we find on the grounds were owned by the Archdiocese of San Antonio. It was complicated to say the least.
     
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  10. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean Call Me a Cab

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    Yes, money is being pledged from all over the world right now as emotions are running high but in a few weeks when the dust settles & things are put into perspectve, donations may be considerably less than calculated.
    Incidently if anyone is tempted to donate, make sure you go through an official funding organisation because as often in these cases, fraudsters pop up like fungi after rain.

    As Lizzie mentioned above, since the separation of the church & state in 1905, all major religious edifices (catholic) built before then belong to the state, which is responsible for their upkeep.
    As for insurance, it was surely insured by the state, Paris too may have insurance & then there will be the insurance of the various restauration companies should one or several be found responsible.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
  11. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean Call Me a Cab

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    Indeed & if I may put my cynical hat on here, the enthousiasm of the French ruling classes to rebuild the damaged part of the cathedral has less to do with history than it does with tourism, after all the old lady attracts millions of visiters every year.
     
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  12. What I mean is, what company underwrites a policy on a world heritage site like that? What would said policy look like? How much are the premiums? Not doubting, just curious about how that works on something for which the historical and cultural value cannot be measured and far exceeds any potential monetary value. For example, the White House is not insured. The US government just pays whatever it costs for anything. I would have thought something similar in this case, but I don’t know.
     
  13. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Practically Family

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    Vienna's cathedral ("Stephansdom") had its entire roof burned-off at the end of WWII, and all its windows blown out. It has since been restored. Same with an uncountable number of historic buildings all across Europe. Tourists may think they are looking at originals, but often it is not the case.

    Still. I can't help but think that something is lost each time an ancient structure is rebuilt.
     
  14. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean Call Me a Cab

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    You mean the tax payers just pay . :D
     
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  15. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    "Make not my Father's house a house of merchandise."
     
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  16. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean Call Me a Cab

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    I have just done a bit of research, thankyou internet, & you are right in that the cathedral it's self was not insured but self-insured by the state & insurance companies are only involved in the legal arrangements whatever they are. So it's only the insurance companies of the restauration/building enterprises that are currently working on the cathedral who are involved.
     
  17. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean Call Me a Cab

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    Yes, history is lost & the skill of the original craftsmen but no building can last for centuries without restauration & replacing bits here & there, even if they aren't bombed or burnt.
     
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  18. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean Call Me a Cab

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    Just in case there are a few souls still following this, the donations for the restauration have exceeded the 1 billion Euro mark & despite the initial sadness of the event, there seems to be a surge of creative energy regarding the reconstruction; Will the framework be made of wood or steel or even concrete, are they going to copy the plans of the original or opte for a completely new structure using today's technology. But prehaps the most interesting suggestion is to have the work open to the public, so they can see modern artisans at work & of course,to encourage the young to take an interest in these ancestral skills in a hope that some may wish to follow in the tradition.
    You have probably heard too that there has been an international call out to architects for the design of the new spire, which was a 19th century 'add-on' anyway & not part of the original cathedral.
    So, 'Our Lady' may be scorched & battered but she's still very much alive & kicking & getting the creative juices flowing. She has also provided a wonderful distraction for the French government with it's ongoing problems with the "gilets jaunes" but we had better not go there as I can hear the conspiracy theorists from here getting ready to jump in.:D
     
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  19. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Practically Family

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    Thanks for that, Lean n Mean. I'm thrilled that this near-tragedy has sparked such an outpouring of generosity and creativity. A silver lining, indeed.

    Yesterday, I saw at least three articles on fake conspiracy claims. Discouraging. (Of course the company that was doing the roof renovations says that in no way could they have been responsible.)

    And then on the lighter side, I saw this article this morning (someone who saw images of Jesus in the flames):

    https://heavy.com/news/2019/04/jesus-christ-notre-dame-flames-fire-photos/

    Jesus in flames.png
     
  20. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

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    "Jesus in the Flames" is sure to be the title of a book about the fire.

    I saw an estimate of about £8 Billion to get it back up to scratch.
     
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