French artisans restore Notre-Dame stained glass windows

STORY: Location: Troyes, France

French artisans are restoring Notre-Dame’s stained glass windows

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They were heavily soiled by smoke and dust in a major 2019 fire

which blocked external light and obscured the colors of the 170-year-old glass

Date: September 2, 2022

Eight glass manufacturers have begun work on 39 high windows

in the medieval cathedral's nave, choir, transept and sacristy

[Flavie Serriere Vincent-Petit, Master glassmaker]

"We are dealing with two types of alterations here. The ones caused by normal wear of a stained glass window that was installed 150 years ago in a building, and the ones that were soiled with all the residue and dust generated by the fire. So there is a major cleaning phase, to wash off both the blaze's dust and dirt resulting from human breath as well as candle soot. So we can put the windows back into place and give the full brightness back to Notre-Dame."

The cathedral has been closed for restoration since the 2019 blaze

The aim is to reopen the cathedral by 2024 when France hosts the Olympic Games

"With Notre-Dame, there is really a feeling that we are all working together regardless of the craft, in a great procession that is organised thanks to the very precise and complicated logistics, in order for each group to take its part at a given time. For example, next week we will receive new bay windows, then they will go back to the warehouse and we will work on them again at a later stage. Everyone has their own role and their own choreography so that the whole project can be finished by 2024."