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Paris authorities to remove Notre-Dame scaffolding after blaze

Paris authorities will begin the delicate task of removing scaffolding from the collapsed spire of Notre-Dame cathedral in coming weeks after a devastating fire in April, a charity said Monday.

Paris authorities to remove Notre-Dame scaffolding after blaze
The 850-year-old church's spire was clad in scaffolding when it came crashing during the blaze. Photo: AFP
The 850-year-old church's spire was clad in scaffolding when it came crashing during the huge blaze on April 15.
   
The cathedral's roof was also destroyed in the inferno, although the vast majority of the most-sacred artefacts and valuable items inside were saved.
   
Shortly after the fire, French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to complete a painstaking renovation of the gothic masterpiece within five years.
   
But that cannot begin until “essential” work takes place to secure the structure, the Notre-Dame Foundation charity said in a statement.
   
“One of the most complex aspects of the work at the moment is removing the scaffolding, which includes 50,000 tubes which reached over 800 degrees Celcius (1472 degrees Fahrenheit)” during the fire, charity head Christophe-Charles Rousselot told AFP.
   
“A similar structure will be installed, as well as cranes, in order to start cutting down (the scaffolding) in very delicate conditions,” the charity statement said. 
   
Dismantling the scaffolding is expected to take four months, Rousselot said.
   
Notre-Dame hosted its first mass after the inferno earlier this month, with priests and worshippers donning hard hats to protect themselves against possible falling debris.
   
Wealthy donors have handed over millions of euros to restore the church, including French luxury goods rivals Bernard Arnault and Francois-Henri Pinault, who have pledged 200 and 100 million euros ($228 million and $114 million) respectively.
   
The full amount needed to restore the cathedral is not yet known, the Notre-Dame Foundation said.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

READ ALSO 6 ways to get around Paris without the Metro

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