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Artisans have restored the stained glass windows of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris damaged by fire

On April 15, 2019, a massive fire destroyed this masterpiece of Gothic art, collapsing its framework.

French and German craftsmen are carrying out the process of cleaning and restoring the stained glass windows of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, which survived the fire in April 2019. This is one of the first restoration activities to be carried out inside the temple. reopening in 2024.

“It’s an ambitious goal,” French Army General Jean-Louis Georgelain, who is responsible for overseeing the building’s restoration, acknowledged on Friday.

On April 15, 2019, a massive fire destroyed this masterpiece of Gothic art, causing its frame, famous needle, clock and part of the vault to collapse before millions of people around the world watched in amazement.

Eight French workshops and stained glass artists are working on the restoration of stained glass windows in the nave, choir, transept and sanctuary at Cologne Cathedral in West Germany, the public institution in charge of the cathedral’s conservation and restoration said.

The stained-glass windows of the chapels and tribunes are cleaned directly at Notre-Dame.

Master glazier Flavi Vincent-Patti is responsible for some of the church’s 39 “windows,” “3 meters wide and 8 to 9 meters high,” he explained to AFP.

“The stained glass windows of the choir are from the 19th century and are represented by biblical and religious figures. At that time, architect Violet Le Duc sought to restore the filtered light of the Middle Ages,” explains Vincent-Petty. “The ones on the boat are from the 1960s and are abstractly inspired,” he adds.


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Only the pink windows of the church are medieval, which “were not damaged by the fire, so they are not included in the restoration plan,” this craftsman explains.

The cleaning process, which employs about fifteen French master glaziers, begins with the dismantling of the stained glass windows, which are fixed with lead on a support called a “locker”, documenting their condition and numbering them.

Then they clean the dust particles with a vacuum cleaner, rub the dirt with cotton pads dipped in a mixture of water and alcohol and repair the cracks.

These stained glass windows have never been cleaned since they were installed more than 150 years ago, but beneath the dirt is a color that hasn’t changed since then, Vincent-Petit notes.


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© Agence France-Presse

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