With three more years to go until the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics and the re-opening date announced by French President Emanuel Macron, Notre Dame's restoration work progresses. After a long safety phase and months of work interruption last year due to the pandemic, all burned timber from the roof has been removed, and scaffolding has been installed inside the cathedral. As a homage to the heritage structure and "the collective effort to rebuild Notre Dame", the Catholic University of America is building a replica of one of the cathedral's roof trusses in Washington D.C., using medieval techniques.
After a complex process of consolidating the cathedral's structure, actual restoration work is set to begin later this year. After removing the debris, the cathedral was reinforced with wooden frames, and bracings were built to support the buttresses. Experts are currently developing the best course of action for the restoration of the interiors.
Replicas of the roof and church spire will be built using 1000 oak trees harvested from all over France, with the reconstruction of the iconic features set to begin in autumn 2022. According to Jean-Louis Georgelin, the project leader, there is a possibility to open the cathedral in time for the Olympic Games of 2024, but the restoration works will unfold long past that date.
The Catholic University of America's School of Architecture and Planning and nonprofit Handhouse Studio are currently unfolding a workshop in Washington D.C., where a group of carpenters, students, and faculty are rebuilding a full-scale replica of one of Notre Dame's trusses, using medieval techniques. Described by the team as "a gesture of global solidarity honouring the importance of cultural heritage", the project is an exploration of past building technologies, creating the opportunity for a deeper understanding of Notre Dame's heritage.