After more than 150 years to watch over the sky of paris, the statues of Our Lady of Paris fly to a cure of youth. On Thursday, a spectacular operation took place in the sky of Paris: sixteen statues of copper have been stripped from the spire of the cathedral Notre-Dame. This restoration of “historic” statues green-gray is part of the project of renovation of the spire of Notre-Dame.

For ten hours, a crane of 100 meters high, has removed to one of the sixteen statues of copper – the twelve apostles of Jesus and the four symbols of the evangelists – that surround the spire of the cathedral. Each measuring 3 meters high and weighs no less than 250 kilos. To facilitate their transport, the sculptures have been beheaded and then hung on the crane by the base of the neck.

“This is a great event, magical. This is the first time that we see them up close since they were asked,” in the 1860s, ” says Marie-Hélène Didier, curator general of the heritage and in charge of the restoration.

“This is a great event, magical. This is the first time that we see them up close since they were asked,” enthuses Marie-Hélène Didier, curator general of the heritage and in charge of the restoration. STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP

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The statues move now to the Dordogne, where they will be carefully restored in a specialist workshop. The time, weather and pollution have affected the sixteen pieces of copper since their installation. Welding will be practiced in areas where the metal is cracked, the deformation will be repaired at the hand, and all will be cleaned with a fine toothcomb. The statues are set to return for the occasion of their brown color copper original, long-gone under the oxidation layer gray-green. “They will be renovated, two by two, it is a bearing system, while the other will be exposed to during 19 months in the choir of the cathedral,” explains Jean-Michel Guilment, to the AFP, who works at the regional directorate of cultural affairs. They should return to their place of origin in 2022.

The site is estimated to be 11 million, of which € 800.000 only for the statues. BERTRAND GUAY/AFP

A cure of youth to 18 million euros

The uninstallation of the sculptures, their base will allow crews to restore access to the summit of the spire, located at the crossroads of the central nave and the transept. She will be back soon, in the image of its base, bunch of scaffolding metal building on the solid gothic structures of the cathedral. The installation must allow for the restoration of the lead roof, rising to 93 meters. The construction site is estimated to be 11 million, of which € 800.000 only for the statues. The last stroke of nine brought to this part of the building dates from 1937.

The statues move now to the Dordogne, where they will be carefully restored in a specialist workshop. BERTRAND GUAY/AFP

This new restoration comes just before the chorus, which should cost a little more than seven million euros and will be spread over ten years, according to The new yorker . A project essential for the safeguarding of that monument, built between 1163 and 1345, which attracts nearly thirteen million visitors each year.

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The statues have been installed during the reconstruction of the spire of the cathedral, conducted in 1859-1860 by architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, who is himself represented under the features of Saint Thomas. The arrow was originally built in 1250, and then dismantled in the years 1786-1792.

Restaurateur of engineering for its business of safeguarding the heritage, Viollet-le-Duc has often been decried for its transformations made to the original buildings. The current restoration of its spire, and sixteen statues proves that his work is now an integral part of the heritage landscape.

The statues have been installed during the reconstruction of the spire of the cathedral, conducted in 1859-1860 by architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. BERTRAND GUAY/AFP

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