Architect: Notre Dame far from safe for restoration work

International

Workers are pictured during preliminary work at the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, Wednesday, July 17, 2019 in Paris. The chief architect of France’s historic monuments says that three months after the April 15 fire that devastated Notre Dame Cathedral the site is still being secured. (Stephane de Sakutin/Pool via AP)

PARIS (AP) — A French architect says that Notre Dame Cathedral still isn’t safe enough for restoration work to begin, more than three months after a devastating fire nearly destroyed the monument.

French television showed the chief architect of France’s historic monuments, Philippe Villeneuve, taking Culture Minister Franck Riester on a tour Wednesday of the cathedral, which President Emmanuel Macron wants restored in five years.

He said that “we are still in extreme urgency of securing the site.”

Wooden supporting arches are being placed under the 28 buttresses, without anchoring them in stone. A robot was helping to clear debris on the lower level of the cathedral.

The minister said that the safety and quality of the restoration “is what counts” despite the goal of finishing the repairs by 2024.

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