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Fire breaks out at Notre Dame cathedral, developing situation [Update: major structural collapse - Art and other Assets Saved] (See Staff Post)

SaintBowWow

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
2,628
man twitter is a mess right now, both the far right and even those on the left are trying to exploit this tragedy for their own self image.

many racists scumbags are going on about "death of western civilization etc" and then those on the left are saying that
"they don't care, its a symbol of colonialism, why should we care if you don't care about indigenous or PoC artifacts being destroyed" like some form of Karma etc.

not linking this to the thread, because I don't want to give them views like last time, but its just shameful that people make this a political act right away
The tin foil hat in me says that stuff is a result of a malevolent social engineering effort intended to drive a wedge between people on either side of the political spectrum.

You'll possibly be dead before that happens. A restoration / reconstruction of this level on a cathedral (let alone one this old) will take decades to complete.
It will take some time but don't be dramatic, most people on this forum will still be alive when the restoration is complete.
 

Nikus

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
4,086
France
It's a medieval building made of wood and stone... If the fire catches in the wooden roof (like it looks like it happened) it can go quickly.
Centuries old wood that's dry would've caught fire a lot quicker
Oooh that makes much more sense. For some reason I was under the impression that it was pretty much all stonework and that the rooms would be isolated enough to contain the fires/damage. Guess that shows how much I know medieval architecture.
The wood was from trees that were almost 1000 years old and it was still in great condition. From what I've heard, that variety of trees doesn't even exist anymore (I'll have to fact check that, I may have misunderstoond), at least not in the quantities they used back in the 13th century. Obviously they won't rebuild using wood, not after a fire like that... but the structure was made from 1300 of these millenials old oaks, and it's only ashes now. Even if this wasn't a piece of art in itself, it still bums me out :(
 

Nooblet

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,139
Oooh that makes much more sense. For some reason I was under the impression that it was pretty much all stonework and that the rooms would be isolated enough to contain the fires/damage. Guess that shows how much I know medieval architecture.
Old churches/cathedrals are built in a specific way. Think of a triangle sitting on top of a square. The square is all stone including the ceiling from the inside, but over that there's the triangle which is made of wood. That portion was the one that was on fire and totally gone now. The reason why there was a risk for the whole thing collapsing was because the fire was really heating up the stone and it'd crack the stone after a point thereby leading to a collapse...if it had happened with the bell tower and the bell fell that's 12 tons of material on top of a structure that's prone to collapsing due to being heated.

There isn't really any proper seal/separation between the "square"
and the "triangle" so while the wood's burning it can take air from the "square" area with high ceiling as these are made to be very airy with lots of space.
 

rob305

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,022
Miami Beach, FL
I'm seeing people on facebook posting older articles (couple of months old) saying that there were hundreds of cases of arson and vandalism on catholic churches in the past years in France, is there any truth to this? I dont want to link to these articles since i'm not sure how legitimate they are, the sites seem kinda sketchy
 

Nooblet

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,139
The wood was from trees that were almost 1000 years old and it was still in great condition. From what I've heard, that variety of trees doesn't even exist anymore (I'll have to fact check that, I may have misunderstoond), at least not in the quantities they used back in the 13th century. Obviously they won't rebuild using wood, not after a fire like that... but the structure was made from 1300 of these millenials old oaks, and it's only ashes now. Even if this wasn't a piece of art in itself, it still bums me out :(
I don't thing they were in great condition, infact the whole building was in a relatively unsatisfactory state and it was why they were doing the restoration in the first place. I'm not sure if they were planning on eventually replacing all that wood with newer wood or something else.
 

Sorel

Member
Oct 27, 2017
964
French here, really happy to see that's we've "only" really just loft the roof. The rest is okay.
I'm surprised it's still standing. when I saw the spire fell down I though it was over, it was going to destroy the stone above and crack the cathedral, but it held up, I'm relieve.

We'll rebuilt it stronger, greater, prettier, more glorious than ever... I hope.
 

Y2Kev

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,917
What a miracle that the cathedral was saved. I spent more than 90 minutes last year just staring at the front facade of this masterwork. People often say that the inside is not as nice as Sainte Chapelle or something like Sacre Coeur but damn if this wasn't the most beautiful thing I've seen in Europe. I could not even eat before thinking about this beautiful monument to history being on fire. I know much of the church has been restored before and I am confident they will do it again. I hope many future generations get to see this building and all it means and stands for. Vive la cathédrale.
 

Nude_Tayne

Member
Jan 8, 2018
1,683
earth
I've only been to Paris once in 1998 and I don't think we even went in the cathedral. I remember being extremely impressed with it from the outside but really disappointed that it seemed almost entirely covered in scaffolding. Now I feel bad that we didn't go inside. This is shitty.
 

Mik2121

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,307
Japan
You'll possibly be dead before that happens. A restoration / reconstruction of this level on a cathedral (let alone one this old) will take decades to complete.
Unless he's on his 50s or 60s, nah, I will assume it will be ready in no more than 30 years, most likely less.

Sure, it's an old building. But it's also a massive income of tourism money. Paris (and France) will most likely try to get it fixed as fast as possible within safety limits.
 

Nikus

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
4,086
France
I'm seeing people on facebook posting older articles (couple of months old) saying that there were hundreds of cases of arson and vandalism on catholic churches in the past years in France, is there any truth to this? I dont want to link to these articles since i'm not sure how legitimate they are, the sites seem kinda sketchy
I don't really remember specific news about cases like that... There are usually more reports of mosques being vandalized.
I'm sure the far right here is gonna be in full fear mongering mode though, as always :/
Racists are gonna say that it can't have been an accident. Even those who are not... I mean, my dad earlier said that he found it strange how many fires there had been in Paris in the last months (not in churches but in regular buildings) and that perhaps, "they" were making tests to see how much time it took for the firefighters to arrive. I told him that I didn't see the point and that he shouldn't fall into conspirationist BS, and he agreed (big relief). I told him that it's no surprise that people want to blame someone, because at least there would be a reason, and the absurdity of an accident in a tragedy like this, the fact that there is no intent behind, can be difficult to grasp. But it is what it is.

I don't thing they were in great condition, infact the whole building was in a relatively unsatisfactory state and it was why they were doing the restoration in the first place. I'm not sure if they were planning on eventually replacing all that wood with newer wood or something else.
I actually heard/saw that earlier in a short segment that had been filmed maybe two years ago in Notre-Dame, and one of the people in charge of the place said that there was no reason to replace most of them because it was still going strong. But yeah they must have replaced some of it over the years though. I still find it fascinating that wood from the 1200s was still doing its job in the structure of the edifice.
 

Nooblet

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,139
Unless he's on his 50s or 60s, nah, I will assume it will be ready in no more than 30 years, most likely less.

Sure, it's an old building. But it's also a massive income of tourism money. Paris (and France) will most likely try to get it fixed as fast as possible within safety limits.
Considering the roof is all gone and they have to rebuild it rather than restore, I think it may be be a lot faster than what we're imagining.

Unless politics comes into play and some people want it to be 100% similar with no additions to design for safety and others want modifications to make it safe.
 

muteKi

Member
Oct 22, 2018
10,957
a sunken pirate ship
The tin foil hat in me says that stuff is a result of a malevolent social engineering effort intended to drive a wedge between people on either side of the political spectrum.
The wedge was driven centuries ago. I wouldn't expect any sort of societal gathering around a Catholic historical site in this day and age. For all its value as an artifact it's also deeply tied to specific ideology. I certainly don't blame folks, especially non-European folks, for seeing this the same way I'd see historic American plantation sites...
 

Oneself

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,391
I'm not a religious person but this is really sad to behold. An architectural masterpiece and so much history burned down is tragic IMO. :(
 

Akinsa

Member
Oct 28, 2017
884
You'll possibly be dead before that happens. A restoration / reconstruction of this level on a cathedral (let alone one this old) will take decades to complete.
I very much doubt that. At the very least, looking at the images and how it appears that much of the stonework survived, I think that potentially in a few years the building could be in a state where they can reopen at least parts of it to the public and it can be used as a working church again, even if it might take years for them to completely rebuild every single facet of the building. It took 200 years to build it, but only 20 years to rebuild it 19th century. And neither of those people had access to modern construction techniques or CNC milling.

The question now is how they rebuild - do they restore it using identical materials and hand carved construction, at the risk of a slower pace and potentially more susceptible to yet another fire in the future? Or do they use stronger and more modern materials for the roof structure, just with a traditional facade? I think either way they will want to use traditional artisan techniques for aspects such as the stain glass or the interior furnishings, but neither of those things are structural elements that need to be complete before they let people use the building again.
 

legend166

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,404
man twitter is a mess right now, both the far right and even those on the left are trying to exploit this tragedy for their own self image.

many racists scumbags are going on about "death of western civilization etc" and then those on the left are saying that
"they don't care, its a symbol of colonialism, why should we care if you don't care about indigenous or PoC artifacts being destroyed" like some form of Karma etc.

not linking this to the thread, because I don't want to give them views like last time, but its just shameful that people make this a political act right away
How is the Notre Dame a symbol of colonialism (I know you're not saying this but what is their argument)? Like are they seriously going back to like pre-3rd century? From what Wiki says, prior to a Christian cathedral being built there it was a Roman temple to Jupiter.

...won't somebody please think of the ancient Romans? Or are they trying to be angry about the invasion of Gaul?
 

FeliciaFelix

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,684
The wedge was driven centuries ago. I wouldn't expect any sort of societal gathering around a Catholic historical site in this day and age. For all its value as an artifact it's also deeply tied to specific ideology. I certainly don't blame folks, especially non-European folks, for seeing this the same way I'd see historic American plantation sites...
Do you really think non-Europeans are that petty? And I can appreciate pretty looking plantation mansions. In those I wouldn't judge them on its dark history but rather than because they are new-ish. "Oh the house is 150 years old? That's nice I guess."
 

element252

Banned
Oct 30, 2017
719
man twitter is a mess right now, both the far right and even those on the left are trying to exploit this tragedy for their own self image.

many racists scumbags are going on about "death of western civilization etc" and then those on the left are saying that
"they don't care, its a symbol of colonialism, why should we care if you don't care about indigenous or PoC artifacts being destroyed" like some form of Karma etc.

not linking this to the thread, because I don't want to give them views like last time, but its just shameful that people make this a political act right away
I would recommend staying off Twitter. I never even signed up and thank god for that! The whole site is destructive for any hope of civility.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
8,512
Some of these images are absolutely spellbinding and the imagery is undeniably powerful, especially to those of faith.
 

RoaminRonin

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,097
Well at least during the rebuilding they can install preventative measures like a sprinkler system for any future accidents.
 

SaintBowWow

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
2,628
The wedge was driven centuries ago. I wouldn't expect any sort of societal gathering around a Catholic historical site in this day and age. For all its value as an artifact it's also deeply tied to specific ideology. I certainly don't blame folks, especially non-European folks, for seeing this the same way I'd see historic American plantation sites...
Of course the wedge exists, but I'm referring to signal boosting fringe perspectives on both sides in light of a fresh wound to drive each side further apart. This isn't the point of the thread though so I'll drop the conspiracy theories.

On another note, I think any building around as old, influential, and famous as Notre Dame are going to have some pretty bad things associated with it by virtue of requiring wealthy/powerful people to build and maintain them. One can recognize the many issues with the Catholic Church and still be sad that an incredibly historic and important building burst into flames. Off the cuff comments about how this is good because the Catholic Church is bad just come off as shallow hot takes.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
8,512
Looking at the recent pictures of the interior and I can't help but be in awe at the craftsmanship and engineering that could yield such staying power.

Absolutely incredible how much survived and how well intact elements and arches immediately surrounding the collapsed spire are. For something to be so old yet survive such extreme conditions is always awe inspiring

I'm relieved so much remains standing, when it was uncertain how much could be saved I couldn't bear the thought of it all crumbling.

Many owe a debt to the firefighters involved, for not only managing to tackle such an inferno and placing themselves at risk but for having the bravery and respect to recover the art, and historical and religious artifacts. I hope the injured member of the team gets all the support needed for his recovery.
 

Scrooge

Member
Oct 25, 2017
630
Hell I'm willing to bet if they set up a GoFundMe or something along those lines they'd get at least 10+ million just from regular people all around the world wanting to help. I'd definitely chip in a few paltry dollars.
You could probably add a zero to that if they said the general public's help is necessary to rebuild and started a GoFundMe. It'd be the biggest GoFundMe campaign of all time by a huge margin. This cathedral is that special in the eyes of many. (I'd probably throw in 100 bucks myself and I'm neither wealthy nor Catholic.) But I don't expect such a campaign will be necessary.
 

Marin-Lune

Member
Oct 27, 2017
359
I'm seeing people on facebook posting older articles (couple of months old) saying that there were hundreds of cases of arson and vandalism on catholic churches in the past years in France, is there any truth to this? I dont want to link to these articles since i'm not sure how legitimate they are, the sites seem kinda sketchy
Alt-right bullshit. Don't believe that crap.
 

RedMercury

Member
Dec 24, 2017
9,183
This is probably a dumb question, but was there no sprinkler system in there? I understand they wanted to keep it as original as possible, and that the fire likely started where there may not have been one anyways, and that of course there are areas with artwork they wouldn't want to get soaked, but it could have maybe helped a bit?
 

JasonMCG

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
2,195
Denver, CO
I still can't believe this; it's legitimately shaken me. I'm not a religious man by any mean, but the cultural loss here is huge. 750 years...it's just a shame.
 
Oct 27, 2017
826
Very sad and tragic but at least there seem to be no casualties and it was not totally destroyed.

I'm glad for sure I managed to visit Paris early January and see it though, been wanting to since I was a kid.
 

Qvoth

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,565
This event made me check out the old pictures I took during my visit
Should've taken more :(
 

Mandos

Member
Nov 27, 2017
7,259
This is probably a dumb question, but was there no sprinkler system in there? I understand they wanted to keep it as original as possible, and that the fire likely started where there may not have been one anyways, and that of course there are areas with artwork they wouldn't want to get soaked, but it could have maybe helped a bit?
Retrofitting an older let alone ancient building with a modern fire prevention system is difficult(and even then is unlikely to be in the roof, the most effected area) its have to be exterior and nobody wants giant water pipes going up the wall in public areas. Any building over 75 years old is going to be hard to setup and usually gets grandfathered past modern prevention systems since with most of them being made out of wood their level of flamibility makes it unlikely a water based system would be able to stop it. If it catches on fire a decent bit that old wood is going up in smoke real quick(for ref I did a repair project on a 1935 single screen theater that was mostly wood and plaster. A water sprinkler system would be next to impossible to install and would have been taken out by the time it started if a fire started in the roof or walls)
 

RedMercury

Member
Dec 24, 2017
9,183
Retrofitting an older let alone ancient building with a modern fire prevention system is difficult(and even then is unlikely to be in the roof, the most effected area) its have to be exterior and nobody wants giant water pipes going up the wall in public areas. Any building over 75 years old is going to be hard to setup and usually gets grandfathered past modern prevention systems since with most of them being made out of wood their level of flamibility makes it unlikely a water based system would be able to stop it. If it catches on fire a decent bit that old wood is going up in smoke real quick(for ref I did a repair project on a 1935 single screen theater that was mostly wood and plaster. A water sprinkler system would be next to impossible to install and would have been taken out by the time it started if a fire started in the roof or walls)
I just figured it's such an important building that it would be a priority, expense be damned, but you make good points about the efficacy of such a system. Thank you for the thoughtful response!