Heatwave causes further stonework collapse at fire-hit Notre-Dame

The 850-year-old gothic cathedral is still at risk of collapse, with works being carried out to secure the monument

Lead in the roof and steeple of the cathedral melted during the blaze.
CW archives/ AFP - Stephane De Sakutin
Lead in the roof and steeple of the cathedral melted during the blaze.

More stonework has been falling off from France’s 850-year-old gothic cathedral, the Notre-Dame De Paris — which was engulfed in fire in April 2019, bringing down its wooden spire and part of the vaulted roof — due to the recent heatwave in the capital city.

According to France24’s report citing Agence France-Presse (AFP), the country’s culture ministry revealed that work aimed at securing the historical monument from collapse was suspended on 25 July, in a bid to carry out decontamination of lead which spread during the fire that lasted for more than nine hours.

The culture ministry said that "there were recently new falls of stones from the nave vaults due to the heatwave”, the report stated.

"It is only the urgency linked to the persistent risk of a collapse that justifies the rhythm of work undertaken since the fire," the ministry added.

Another AFP report revealed that hundreds of tonnes of lead in the roof and steeple melted during the blaze, and the wind spread the particles at the site as well as in schools and other buildings in the area.

At the end of May 2019, the French Senate approved its government’s Notre-Dame restoration bill which was passed by the French parliament to complete rebuilding work by the Paris Olympics in 2024, with a clause that it be restored to its form prior to the fire.

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