Friends of Notre-Dame De Paris Progress Report

Progress Report
Renovation of two of Notre-Dame Cathedral’s chapels, the Saint Ferdinand and Notre-Dame de Guadalupe chapels, is now complete. These chapels served as test worksites for the methods that will be used to clean and restore the rest of the cathedral.

Fortunately, the twenty-four chapels along the nave and choir were not damaged during the 2019 fire, but they are now covered under a layer of lead dust and require cleaning. The work on the Saint Ferdinand and Notre-Dame de Guadalupe chapels began in September 2020 and finished earlier this year. These two test worksites are important because they help determine the protocols for cleaning the paintings, stonework, and stained-glass windows.

The process of cleaning the chapels was incredibly meticulous. Restorers used a laser to clean the seals between stones; then they set a gel to absorb dirt, removing it with a paper towel. This process is the safest to reveal the original colors and materials of the chapels. The results of the restoration work are extremely encouraging and are a good starting point to renovate the Cathedral’s remaining 22 chapels. This work will likely begin after the rebuilding of the rib vaults, roof, and spire is complete.

Removing decades worth of dirt and the lead soot from the fire revealed the beautiful and vibrant interior décor of the chapels. The Saint Ferdinand Chapel is adorned with painted plaster and wonderful polychrome, while the Notre-Dame de Guadalupe Chapel is bejeweled with amazing exposed stones and fleur-de-lys painted on the ribs of the vaults.

Noteworthy from Notre-Dame
Piecing Together Notre-Dame’s Puzzle
In April, we launched a new campaign to commemorate the second anniversary of the fire that devastated Notre-Dame de Paris. Through “Notre-Dame – The Pieces of a Puzzle”, we invite you to explore the Cathedral’s lesser-known treasures in a new way, and to support their restoration. Thanks to you, our generous community, we have raised over $176,000 to help fund the restoration of 12 artifacts, including the Stryge grotesque, the statue of Joan of Arc, and the Virgin of the Pillar.
1163 Society Member Event
In June, we hosted a virtual Expert Talk exclusively for 1163 Society members at the Builder through Quasimodo Circle levels. The Expert Talk featured Pascal Prunet, Chief Architect of Historical Monuments, and one of the three architects in charge of Notre-Dame Cathedral, in conversation with Michel Picaud, President of Friend of Notre-Dame de Paris, moderated by Wesley R. Johnson, Jr., a member of our Board of Directors. This special behind-the-scenes conversation delved into the current state of the Cathedral, rebuilding progress, and what still needs to be done to complete this ambitious reconstruction project. Pascal and Michel also discussed important points like sourcing the construction materials, the biggest challenges in restoring the beloved monument, and much more.

To become a member of the 1163 Society and receive exciting benefits like invitations to members-only events, click here!

Did You Know?
US-based donors to Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris will receive their annual friend cards soon! Help us decide on an image for the friend card by casting your vote here! The friend cards are our token of appreciation to those that have supported the restoration works of the cathedral throughout the year. If you are interested in receiving a friend card, make your gift today!

*Please note that friend cards are mailed only to US addresses, which allows us to devote a greater portion of our budget to restoring Notre-Dame Cathedral, rather than to operating costs. Thank you for your understanding.

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