Notre Dame Cathedral is in danger of becoming a total loss.
Monsignor Patrick Chauvet said there is only a 50-50 chance that the structure can be saved.
The rector is also heartbroken that they couldn’t say Mass in the church because of all the lead in the building. It’s the first time since the French Revolution that they haven’t said Mass on Christmas.
The church is very fragile after the April fire.
Usually, they get two million visitors on Christmas for the Mass. Now visitors could only look at the church from behind structures built to keep people away.
It seems there are 50,000 tubes of scaffolding crisscrossed the back of the edifice at the time of the fire, and some were damaged. Removing them without causing further problems is one of the toughest parts of the cleanup effort.
“We need to remove completely the scaffolding in order to make the building safe, so in 2021 we will probably start the restoration of the cathedral,” Chauvet said. “Once the scaffolding is removed we need to assess the state of the cathedral, the quantity of stones to be removed and replaced.”
Chauvet estimated it would take another three years after that to make it safe enough for people to re-enter the cathedral, but that the full restoration will take longer — if it can be restored.