On the night of April 2019, a horrific fire swept through the beloved Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Within hours, the cathedral’s roof and wooden frame, made from trees dating back to 1160, had been destroyed. President Emmanuel Macron vowed to restore the iconic landmark; however, rebuilding such a beautifully-detailed Gothic structure would be a lengthy and complicated process. Since April 16, 2019, the cathedral and its surrounding area have been shutdown for renovations and cleanups. Now, over a year later, we have some good news to share.
Last week, the City of Paris reopened the Parvis (the forecourt) and Rue du Parvis de Notre-Dame de Paris (the street beside the cathedral). After more than 13 months of clean-up operations focused on eradicating the pollution left by lead-filled dust, the site was deemed sanitary by the Regional Health Agency (ARS), according to a press release. The City writes that it will regularly clean and monitor the area. Although the rest of the cathedral is still closed, renovations will continue, likely for several years.
While the city is still in the process of reopening post-lockdown (as of yesterday, restaurants were allowed to partially reopen), Mayor Anne Hidalgo stopped by last week and shared a video of the newly-refreshed grounds. Several locals can be seen taking socially-distant strolls through plaza.
C’est un immense plaisir de retrouver Mgr Chauvet et Mgr Aupetit pour la réouverture du parvis de #NotreDame, un an après l’incendie de la cathédrale : les Parisiennes, les Parisiens et les visiteurs peuvent à nouveau profiter de ce lieu exceptionnel. cc @karen_taieb @ArielWeilT pic.twitter.com/sbR5BlTeT8— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) May 31, 2020
Another local shared a snap of her visit on social media, too. Like she said, "a very small thing," but after waiting over a year, it's pretty blissful.
And in due time, tourists will regain entry into Notre Dame's storied Gothic interior, too. Fingers crossed that masks will be a thing of the past by then and we'll be able to huddle together and marvel at the magic that is Notre Dame.
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