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      Renovation of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris resumes

      Xinhua | Updated: 2020-04-28 09:15

      A view shows Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, which was damaged in a devastating fire one year ago, as restoration work resumes slowly after an interruption due to the lockdown imposed to slow the rate of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Paris, France, April 27, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

      The renovation of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris resumed on Monday after a suspension since March 17 due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the public agency overseeing the project announced.

      Workers began to re-arrange the construction site to protect staff from the coronavirus and to allow cleanup efforts at the Paris landmark to resume. Showers and cloakrooms might be arranged to allow more distance between workers, Notre Dame rector Monsignor Patrick Chauvet told reporters.

      Workers will have a place to eat as restaurants are not open and most of them will stay in vacant hotels nearby to avoid taking public transportation, he said.

      The Notre Dame cathedral in Paris at sunrise on Tuesday, the 29th day of a lockdown in France to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. [Photo/Agencies]

      The work is being organized gradually and the access to the site, now hidden from the public by high barriers, is reserved for architects, project managers and building companies for the time being, he added.

      According to the renovation plan, the first step is to dismantle massive pieces of an old scaffolding system which had been installed for a prior renovation project and badly damaged in the blaze last year.

      On April 15, 2019, a huge blaze engulfed this centuries-old iconic cathedral in central Paris, and destroyed the spire and the entire roof which attracts millions visitors every year.

      The cleanup and stabilizing work of the damaged cathedral, delayed by massive quantities of toxic lead and winter storms in 2019, halted once again in mid-March due to the strict confinement measures imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

      The cathedral, whose construction began in 1160 and continued over a century, is part of the World Heritage site of "Paris, Banks of the Seine" inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1991. President Emmanuel Macron had vowed that Notre-Dame will be rebuilt in five years despite delays.

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