Tuesday the 3rd of August

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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Heatwave brings new threat to fire-damaged Notre Dame

The heatwave sweeping Europe could cause the vaulted ceilings of fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral to collapse, the chief architect of France’s historic monuments has warned.

Dozens of sensors dotted around the 12th-century monument have shown no indication that it is deteriorating, but architect Philippe Villeneuve is worried.

Mr Villeneuve said on Wednesday that the stone walls are still saturated with water sprayed by firefighters during the 15th April blaze.

He said they could dry too fast amid the record temperatures expected in Paris this week.

He said so far the masonry is stable but the structure remains fragile.

“What I fear is that the joints or the masonry, as they dry, lose their cohesion…and all of sudden, the vault gives way.”

Specialists are working to stabilise the cathedral’s structure before reconstruction work begins.

Picture: Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral. (Blondet Eliot/ABACA/ABACA/PA).