In the night of Monday to Tuesday, the fire department had to claim victory by managing to contain the fire before it could attack the towers of the west. “We can consider that the structure of Notre-Dame was saved and preserved in its entirety,” had said general Jean-Claude Gallet, commander of the Brigade des sapeurs-pompiers de Paris Monday, shortly before midnight. Since, however, the fire department and the experts have detected several critical points. It remains the “three points of fragility in the major” in the Notre-Dame cathedral on which work is in progress, said Thursday the minister of Culture, Franck Riester.
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The first of them is located in the north transept of the cathedral. The triangular gable of a dozen meters that surmounts the facade was no longer maintained by the frame of the roof. “Significant work has been done this night to make the bracing of the upper part, a kind of scaffolding with a wooden device. It was threatening to collapse,” said Franck Riester Thursday morning on BFM.
The props have been placed in emergency in the night from Wednesday to Thursday to maintain the gable of the north transept. Philippe Wojazer/REUTERS
This element several tons, should it fall, could cause a significant portion of the north façade, whose sublime rose window which adorns it, but also the buildings of the rue du Cloître-Notre-Dame where stands the House of the diocese of Paris. Evacuated since Monday night, the local residents have not been allowed to return home.
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Second sensitive point in this state of affairs: the gable of the west. It can be sensed between the two belfries, behind the gallery column, which surmounts the large rose window. This element marked the western tip of the roof of the nave. The framework on which it was based has disappeared. “It is very fragile, it focuses in particular because the statue of the angel, at the top, is so burned that it is slit all the way up,” said Franck Riester.
The gable western, surmounted by an angel, the threat of collapse. Under him, the great rose window and the great organ of the cathedral . ZAKARIA ABDELKAFI/AFP
“An operation which is taking place today is through a scaffold that will be installed, to him this angel and the remove,” continued the minister.
Monday, the fire had spread to the north tower before being overpowered. But the wind from the east-north-east drove the flames on the angle of the belfry south, where the stones are “become completely brittle”, according to Franck Riester. THOMAS SAMSON/AFP
the Third problematic point: the angle of the belfry south, “which has been so heated, the stones become completely brittle, as there is a risk that the chimeras collapse”. “If they collapsed they could put in danger the great organ, which has so far been preserved”, stressed the minister. “The operation to remove the chimera is launched.”
there are also Our Lady “three places very problematic” where the arch has collapsed: “the nave, a result of the collapse of the spire, the transept, and in the north transept”. “In these three places the arch has collapsed and there is a real risk that it collapses elsewhere, the reason for which scaffolding will be now installed, to put the trays to remove the rubble that are on the arch, and very quickly ruin everything. If it started raining there would be an accumulation of water, it would weigh on the vault,” said the minister of Culture.
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