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Old 04-15-2019, 03:31 PM
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I feel awful about this, That building is a work of art, no matter whether you have any kind of religious feelings. The Episcopal congregation I belong to suffered a devastating fire in 1975, all that was left of the cathedral sanctuary was the stone walls, But it was rebuilt. It took three years to complete the initial work, and get it into usable condition, and then another fifteen to gradually add things like stained glass, extra organ workings, and so on. But it looks beautiful today. I wonder if the rose window at Notre Dame was destroyed?
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:32 PM
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:33 PM
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"flying water tankers"
Civil authorities are reporting that water drops would destroy even more so everything but tankers are being used.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:34 PM
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I've been watching this on TV. Wow.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:35 PM
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CBS reporting that a Paris Fire Department spokesman says that nobody went into the building after the fire to save anything. It was already far too dangerous as the roof was already starting to buckle.

ETA: They are just saying that they would risk their lives to save lives, but not risk a human life to save artwork.
"Nobody"? Or just no firefighters? It could have all been removed before the firefighters arrived. Also, I wonder if maybe it was already removed due to the renovations. Maybe it was better to remove the artwork, than to risk putting plastic drapes over everything only to have a falling hammer or paint brush destroy a priceless work of art. So it's possible that the previous reports of all artwork and relics being safe, and the Fire Department's statement that nobody entered the burning building to save anything can both be true.

Let's hope.
  #56  
Old 04-15-2019, 03:37 PM
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Not a big fan of religion, but buildings like this are a testament to what humans can do when they want to. Yeah, today we could probably knock something like this together in a year or so but the bulk of Notre Dame went up over 800 years ago.

800 years is beyond the ken of a non-native American. Oldest Whitey-built thing here is, I think, Puerto Rico's Cathedral of San Juan Bautista ca. 1521. ND was already 260 years old. Out here in Colorado there's not much of any Whitey stuff older than 200 years. And the oldest man-made thing here, the longest-lived thing out here dreamed up by the Pueblos, is the cliff palace in Mesa Verde National Park. Guess what. Depending on how you look at these things, the first iteration of ND is STILL 30 years older than that, AND ND has been in constant use, surviving wars, industry, and countless pilgrims since it was built.

For perspective, think of things Europe didn't have when most of ND was completed in 1260: scientific method, the black plague hadn't happened yet, concept of "zero" as a number wouldn't be relearned for another 300 years, coffee, 78 rpm records.... Really, just about anything that makes us who we are today didn't exist when ND went up.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:43 PM
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The just reported that all of the art work and a good part of the antiquities have been saved.
There's no way in hell they could have saved the stained glass, and if the belltowers burn the bells go, too - they might have saved the portable art and the sacred paraphernalia, but they did not save all the art work.

Last edited by Broomstick; 04-15-2019 at 03:43 PM.
  #58  
Old 04-15-2019, 03:43 PM
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I'm sure the building and grounds are insured. ...

Old buildings are great to look at, but modern fire codes exist for a reason.
That wins the prize for the most inane comment of the day.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:47 PM
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I'm sure the building and grounds are insured.


How do you insure an 800-year old building that's larger than a football field and the literally irreplaceable artwork inside.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:50 PM
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How do you insure an 800-year old building that's larger than a football field and the literally irreplaceable artwork inside.
Allstate?
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:54 PM
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Civil authorities are reporting that water drops would destroy even more so everything but tankers are being used.
LOL. Of course dumbass in chief was totally wrong as usual.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:55 PM
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Not a big fan of religion, but buildings like this are a testament to what humans can do when they want to.

Well, a testament to what humans can do wrong and then prop up to keep from collapsing.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:00 PM
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Yes, but it's interesting that the French are less inclined to spend money on fixing it than Americans are.
"André Finot, a spokesman for Notre Dame cathedral believes the bulk of the money will need to come from the Americans, millions of whom know Notre Dame and who are less hesitant than the French about giving money to the church. “People don’t want to give money because of laïcité,” he says, referring to the strict secularism that infuses French law." That link is to a story from last year about the needed renovations to the Church, and where the money for the current renovations is coming from. The funding to repair the fire damage will probably come from similar channels--the bulk of which will be Americans.
Um.... why can't the Vatican chip in? After all, it's their cathedral.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:01 PM
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Not a big fan of religion, but buildings like this are a testament to what humans can do when they want to. Yeah, today we could probably knock something like this together in a year or so but the bulk of Notre Dame went up over 800 years ago.
I agree completely with that first sentence on all points, very much so. I also agree with all of what you said about the antiquity of Notre Dame; but The Washington Post article on the fire also quotes a tweet from Kate Wiles, a scholar at Kings’ College London:
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Originally Posted by Kate Wiles
It’s not just the medieval features. It's a palimpsest of work and rework, and building and rebuilding, and we've lost all those layers. It's not just the 'original' masterpiece we're losing, but the culmination of some 900 years of history, which can't just be rebuilt.
A sad, sad day. Lifelong (and fairly militant) atheist here; but as a humanist, it's very depressing to contemplate the loss of all that human toil and effort to create something so majestic and beautiful. And all of my fellow human beings who are Catholics, or Christians more generally, and who are therefore mourning this loss as something beyond history and esthetics, have my deepest sympathies today.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:05 PM
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Yes, but it's interesting that the French are less inclined to spend money on fixing it than Americans are.
"André Finot, a spokesman for Notre Dame cathedral believes the bulk of the money will need to come from the Americans, millions of whom know Notre Dame and who are less hesitant than the French about giving money to the church. “People don’t want to give money because of laïcité,” he says, referring to the strict secularism that infuses French law." That link is to a story from last year about the needed renovations to the Church, and where the money for the current renovations is coming from. The funding to repair the fire damage will probably come from similar channels--the bulk of which will be Americans.
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Um.... why can't the Vatican chip in? After all, it's their cathedral.


The cathedral (like almost all cathedrals in France) belongs to the state, not the church.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:06 PM
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I feel for the people who lost a beloved artwork and for the history lost inside, but I'm not a fan of the building. I dislike classic Gothic since it is too overblown and decadent (while not disliking the English styles of Perpendicular Gothic and Victorian Gothic.)
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:12 PM
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Um.... why can't the Vatican chip in? After all, it's their cathedral.
No it’s not. It’s owned by France. They should kick in though.

ETA: Ninjaed by someone actually in France.

Last edited by hajario; 04-15-2019 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:14 PM
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Ken Follett was on the BBC, and of course he has written long novels on cathedral construction. From what I understood, the roofs are made of wood and when they burn they collapse, creating a huge amount of flammable debris everywhere.
Yes, and other parts of the the interior are wood as well. I worked on a large project at St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City 25-30 years ago and fire was a major concern. Because you weren’t just dealing with wood, you were dealing with wood that had absorbed a lot of paraffin due to centuries of candle-burning. We were told that this increased the flammability and the fire risk.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:21 PM
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Not a big fan of religion, but buildings like this are a testament to what humans can do when they want to. Yeah, today we could probably knock something like this together in a year or so but the bulk of Notre Dame went up over 800 years ago.
In fact, it seems we couldn't. I read an article years ago about the estimated cost of building nowadays famous monuments of the past, like the Taj Mahal or Versailles. No memory about the costs, but something they mentioned I remember : that it would be pretty much impossible to rebuild any of these identically nowadays because of a massive lack of qualified manpower, like for instance stonemasons. The building of those major monuments involved a huge number of such craftsmen, and they're nowhere to be found nowadays. The estimated costs given were based or building them with a concrete structure and without most of the niceties. So, for instance, the reconstructed Taj Mahal they considered for their cost estimates would only be concrete covered with marble "sheets" and without most of the delicate stone engraving.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:22 PM
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I was fortunate enough to have seen it in person, on an Easter Sunday no less. Notre Dame is one of the world's treasures, and it's a shocking to think that a national symbol and something so iconic could just burned away completely in the span of less than a night.

I visited the original WTC so this could be the second major structure that I've seen destroyed in my lifetime.

Last edited by asahi; 04-15-2019 at 04:23 PM.
  #71  
Old 04-15-2019, 04:33 PM
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I was fortunate enough to have seen it in person, on an Easter Sunday no less. Notre Dame is one of the world's treasures, and it's a shocking to think that a national symbol and something so iconic could just burned away completely in the span of less than a night.

I visited the original WTC so this could be the second major structure that I've seen destroyed in my lifetime.
There have to be millions of people who have been to both of those places. They were iconic structures in major tourist destinations.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:39 PM
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A rebuild would take decades, even assuming they could find the craftsmen and funding needed. The National Cathedral in Washington DC is still being worked on, and it is over 100 years old. Admittedly, a project like rebuilding Notre Dame will provide the opportunity to increase the ranks of those craftsmen, but the skill required will still take years to develop.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:39 PM
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I know this shows that I'm a twisted person, but the thought that occurred to me is why terrorists don't use arson of historical buildings and vandalism of art more often.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:43 PM
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Washington Post front page reporting the towers have been saved. Doesn't look like much of the rest is going to make it, though.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:44 PM
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The cathedral (like almost all cathedrals in France) belongs to the state, not the church.
Which is why it is almost certainly not insured. The repair bill will be huge. But it won't be so big that the French government won't be able to foot it. National governments tend not to insure their major historic monuments because their budgets are big enough to deal with unexpected contingencies even on this scale.

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In fact, it seems we couldn't. I read an article years ago about the estimated cost of building nowadays famous monuments of the past, like the Taj Mahal or Versailles. No memory about the costs, but something they mentioned I remember : that it would be pretty much impossible to rebuild any of these identically nowadays because of a massive lack of qualified manpower, like for instance stonemasons. The building of those major monuments involved a huge number of such craftsmen, and they're nowhere to be found nowadays. The estimated costs given were based or building them with a concrete structure and without most of the niceties. So, for instance, the reconstructed Taj Mahal they considered for their cost estimates would only be concrete covered with marble "sheets" and without most of the delicate stone engraving.
Actually, the experience of major restoration projects is often that the project creates the qualified manpower. This will be a chance for lots of new stonemasons etc. to learn those skills.
  #76  
Old 04-15-2019, 04:51 PM
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In fact, it seems we couldn't.
We'll struggle to find thousands of oak trees of sufficient size to replace the roof beams, for a start.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:51 PM
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How do you insure an 800-year old building that's larger than a football field and the literally irreplaceable artwork inside.
By putting a misting system in it like they did for St Patrick's Cathedral in New York.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:51 PM
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That's all we needed was that orange galoot to weigh in with a moronic tweet. I'm surprised the fucker didn't blame it on Obama.

Good job by the Paris firefighters. What a Herculean job they faced and I hope the story is true that the structure has been saved. I hope they have a huge celebration when the reconstruction is complete.

Question on the ownership of the building- why wouldn't it belong to the diocese?
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:55 PM
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I feel for the people who lost a beloved artwork and for the history lost inside, but I'm not a fan of the building. I dislike classic Gothic since it is too overblown and decadent (while not disliking the English styles of Perpendicular Gothic and Victorian Gothic.)
For purposes of art and history, it really doesn't matter whether an individual, or even a majority of individuals, dislikes a particular style. I don't want to lose exemplars of styles that I dislike any more than I want to lose exemplars of styles that I like.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:58 PM
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That wins the prize for the most inane comment of the day.
It probably could have waited a few days but it was spot on. The New York City fire department worked with St Patrick's Cathedral group to bring it up to code. There's really no reason not to do this.

Would you accept the deaths of family and friends because an older building wasn't brought up to code? I'm pretty sure you wouldn't but I could be wrong.
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Old 04-15-2019, 05:03 PM
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Civil authorities are reporting that water drops would destroy even more so everything but tankers are being used.
Because of the insulating qualities of a hundred tons of burning debris falling on it?

I would like to hear that explanation.

I wouldn't be surprised if the restoration in progress didn't include a fire suppression system in the roof.
  #82  
Old 04-15-2019, 05:04 PM
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We're losing a wonder here, people.
Less political pettiness?
Please?
I'd hoped for so much better from the SDMB.
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Old 04-15-2019, 05:06 PM
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It probably could have waited a few days but it was spot on. The New York City fire department worked with St Patrick's Cathedral group to bring it up to code. There's really no reason not to do this.

Would you accept the deaths of family and friends because an older building wasn't brought up to code? I'm pretty sure you wouldn't but I could be wrong.
Do they have tanker aircraft and qualified pilots at the ready near metro Paris?
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Old 04-15-2019, 05:16 PM
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I was fortunate enough to have seen it in person... I visited the original WTC so this could be the second major structure that I've seen destroyed in my lifetime.
I was in the WTC many times, and in ND three times.

I'm especially concerned for the beautiful stained glass, especially the three rose windows. I took such beautiful photos of these when I was there. It would take many years to painstakingly restore/replace them.
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Old 04-15-2019, 05:30 PM
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That wins the prize for the most inane comment of the day.
Just hold your horses, there, Buddy! I haven't posted yet!
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Old 04-15-2019, 05:32 PM
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I was in the WTC many times, and in ND three times.

I'm especially concerned for the beautiful stained glass, especially the three rose windows. I took such beautiful photos of these when I was there. It would take many years to painstakingly restore/replace them.
From the last pictures of them that I saw, they're completely gone. The heat from the fire melted the lead holding the glass in place. They may be able to replicate the images, but they no longer know how to create the colors used.
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Old 04-15-2019, 05:34 PM
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Question on the ownership of the building- why wouldn't it belong to the diocese?
Because the properties of the church, including the buildings, was seized during the revolution. It took until 1905 to reach a final settlement on this issue but the churches and cathedrals stayed public property loaned to local religious associations (not the Catholic church directly). Cathedral belongs to the state, regular churches to municipalities. Except those build since, of course.
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Old 04-15-2019, 05:42 PM
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I don’t see how they save the windows. They have to be true leaded glass and I assume the lead would melt under the heat. Two of the rose windows are in the center of the building. I can’t imagine how they could be reconstructed.
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Old 04-15-2019, 05:45 PM
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The aerial view looks devastating.
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Old 04-15-2019, 05:55 PM
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Because of the insulating qualities of a hundred tons of burning debris falling on it?

I would like to hear that explanation.

I wouldn't be surprised if the restoration in progress didn't include a fire suppression system in the roof.
France typically uses large aerial firefighting aircraft, particularly the Canadair CL-415, to fight wildfires. Even if they were available nearby for deployment, such aircraft are in general not suited to fighting structure fires. A full load of water from a CL-415 weighs over 6 metric tonnes; that much water falling at once on the cathedral would be destructive of anything standing, including the centuries-old masonry structures. I'm not sure what would happen when that much water started flashing to steam on contact with the heat inside the building, either. Also importantly, it's difficult to be precise in releasing that water -- it's meant to fight a forest fire, not a single building. The water drop would pose a danger to people, equipment, and structures near the cathedral. Finally, the smoke and increasing darkness would make it difficult to operate the aircraft over the site.
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:08 PM
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I don’t see how they save the windows. They have to be true leaded glass and I assume the lead would melt under the heat. Two of the rose windows are in the center of the building. I can’t imagine how they could be reconstructed.
You are correct, the lead and solder would melt under the heat and the glass would fall from the windows. The windows have been destroyed.

However, there is a LOT of documentation on the windows.

What could be done is not a restoration but a reconstruction of the windows. They would not, of course, be exactly the same.

On the other hand - over the centuries those windows have been repaired as needed. I think something like 20% of the original glass was replaced over time.
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:09 PM
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The aerial view looks devastating.
#

I *think* most of those flames are on top of the stone roof. There's not much visible fire in the lower levels.

A Reuters photographer has some images from the inside and well, it could have been worse

https://twitter.com/sotiridi/status/1117908328192139266

This person has uploaded a few of images, sorry about the twitter link, but what you gonna do with primitive board software like this place has.
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:14 PM
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Why do bad things happen to good buildings?
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:23 PM
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MSNBC's Richard Engel is reporting that the altar and a bunch of other stuff has been saved, including at least part of the North Rose window.

Notre Dame shall rise again!
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:25 PM
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I know it's nothing as grand as the Notre Dame Cathedral, but when fire gutted the Provo Tabernacle here in Utah, they saved the outer walls and rebuilt it into a beautiful temple.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, this sucks, but it can get better.
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:26 PM
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#

I *think* most of those flames are on top of the stone roof. There's not much visible fire in the lower levels.

A Reuters photographer has some images from the inside and well, it could have been worse

https://twitter.com/sotiridi/status/1117908328192139266

This person has uploaded a few of images, sorry about the twitter link, but what you gonna do with primitive board software like this place has.
Wow, if those photos are accurate, then it looks like the interior is mostly untouched. From the aerial photo, it looked like the inside of the cathedral had been turned into a tub of burning charcoal.
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:27 PM
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Yes, but it's interesting that the French are less inclined to spend money on fixing it than Americans are.
"André Finot, a spokesman for Notre Dame cathedral believes the bulk of the money will need to come from the Americans, millions of whom know Notre Dame and who are less hesitant than the French about giving money to the church. “People don’t want to give money because of laïcité,” he says, referring to the strict secularism that infuses French law." That link is to a story from last year about the needed renovations to the Church, and where the money for the current renovations is coming from. The funding to repair the fire damage will probably come from similar channels--the bulk of which will be Americans.

French billionaire pledges €100m to rebuilding efforts

Agence France-Presse reports that François-Henri Pinault, the chairman and CEO of international luxury group Kering, which owns brands like Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, and Alexander McQueen, has pledged 100 million euros towards rebuilding Notre-Dame, according to a statement.
  #98  
Old 04-15-2019, 06:30 PM
nelliebly is offline
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I've never been to Notre Dame, but I liked knowing it was there. The thrill of standing in such historical structures is envisioning the construction as it developed over several lifetimes, of touching the same masonry that others touched hundreds of years ago. A rebuild would be a mere facsimile.

I'm too heartsick to watch any more coverage.
  #99  
Old 04-15-2019, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgyn View Post
MSNBC's Richard Engel is reporting that the altar and a bunch of other stuff has been saved, including at least part of the North Rose window.

Notre Dame shall rise again!
Um.... I believe this is an image of the North Rose It... doesn't look good. And that's before the spire collapsed, several more hours of fire can not have done it any good.

Take all reports with a grain of salt at this point. You know how disasters are, lots of stuff gets reported, not all of it as accurate as we'd like.
  #100  
Old 04-15-2019, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Um.... I believe this is an image of the North Rose It... doesn't look good. And that's before the spire collapsed, several more hours of fire can not have done it any good.

Take all reports with a grain of salt at this point. You know how disasters are, lots of stuff gets reported, not all of it as accurate as we'd like.


What an incredible picture!
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