Just in: Notre Dame might still collapse

Just in: Notre Dame might still collapse


norman lebrecht

December 26, 2019

AP quotes the rector of Notre Dame Cathedral as saying the bilding is so fragile from rescue work after the fire that there is a 50-50 chalnce it will collapse.

Monsignor Patrick Chauvet said: ‘Today it is not out of danger. ‘Today we can say that there is maybe a 50% chance that it will be saved. There is also 50% chance of scaffolding falling onto the three vaults, so as you can see the building is still very fragile.’


  • Karl says:

    I heard that on the news last night. They were also talking about the lead contamination in the area from the lead roof. And people were still coming and bringing their kids to the area. Very bad idea – children’s brains are very sensitive to lead. Recent studies have shown that levels as low as 5 micrograms per deciliter in the blood can have negative affects on children’s health. Until 2012, children were identified as having a blood lead level of concern if the test result is 10 or more micrograms per deciliter of lead in blood.

    • Peter says:

      Why is there a suggested residual risk from lead poisoning so long after the fire. I can relate to the idea of vaporised lead in the air while the fire was at its hottest. But a year later ?

      • Karl says:

        Lead dust spread over the area. I used to work at a lab where the radio chemists used a lead weight to hold their door open. They would slide it along the floor. The lead lab was just down the hall and every once in a while a blood sample would measure something ridiculous like 300 micrograms per deciliter, That was from lead dust coming from the lead weight. Sometimes a particle would float in the air and get into the instrument or a sample that was uncovered.

        “The fire at the cathedral in April appears to have caused widespread lead dust contamination, prompting a lawsuit against the city….website Mediapart earlier this month and discussed across French media, locations surrounding the fire-damaged cathedral have registered levels of lead contamination ranging between 500 and 800 times the official safe level.”

        If they rebuild it they should not put another lead roof on.

      • Pacer1 says:

        Lead dust contamination remains a significant health risk.

    • engineers_unite says:

      They are talking utter bollox about LEAD!

      You clearly don’t know 50% of Paris’ water piping is still made of lead, especially in the old apartment blocks, including the main conduits from some of the large exterior reservoir supplies.
      Worry more about that, don’t give us this guff repeated from the mass media.

      Some people reckon it’s why Parisians still display suicidal behaviour on the roads and why nutters like Segolene Royale are determined to destroy some of the most successful parts of French industry – such as the NPPs, it might even have contributed to the “terror” under Robespierre and contaminated Bonaparte’s brain.
      (strong links between pathological murderers and Lead poisoning).

      Be very careful what you say and what you wish for…it’s probably already lurking under the bed, or even in your latest cup of (parisian) tea!

  • Monsoon says:

    The assessment was pretty vague on details.

    It seems like they’re trying to dispel the idea that the cathedral could reopen in 5 years.

    • Peter says:

      It did have a statistic that surprised me, that there were 50,000 tubes of scaffolding still in place from the earlier renovation work, that has to be taken away and might cause collapse. That corresponds to more than 200 tonnes of steel perched on top of the damaged building. Equivalent to the weight of Flying Scotsman, twice over. Though fortunately not actually there.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Oh God; a dreadful year altogether and now this!! I hope I go before this magnificent monument does.

  • Cantantelirico says:

    The longer they wait to start reconstruction, the likelihood that the structure will not be saved increases. What will become of the funds already donated? With the modern architectural technology we have today, it is insane and irresponsible to say that Notre Dame cannot be saved by any percentage level. The French will screw this up. Every nation should come together to save it.