Paris (AFP)

The dismantling of the scaffolding of Notre-Dame de Paris should last about a month, General Jean-Louis Georgelin, in charge of coordinating the restoration of the cathedral, told AFP on Saturday.

"The cathedral is still stricto sensu in a state of peril, which is not lifted because we must have been able to definitively inspect the vault. We must wait until the famous scaffolding which had burned around the spire has come down. There is still about a month, "said the president of the Public Establishment, who came to the square of Notre-Dame on the occasion of European Heritage Days.

"We are coming to the end of the consolidation and securing phase and we will soon be able to tackle the actual restoration phase, after a period of studies", he continued, stressing that the dismantling of the organ , started at the beginning of August, had in particular "made great progress".

President Emmanuel Macron finally opted in July for an identical reconstruction of the cathedral, that is to say as close as possible to its condition just before the fire that occurred on the evening of April 15, 2019.

Among the stages in the restoration of the famous building -whose reopening is scheduled for 2024-, "what will be a good marker is when the vault has been rebuilt, when there will be no more this gaping hole", underlined Jean-Louis Georgelin.

For these Heritage Days, the square of Notre-Dame went back a few centuries, with demonstrations of the work of the carpenters, who came to present their know-how to the public, in particular the cutting of old beams, with an ax.

Like the cathedral builders of the Middle Ages, a dozen carpenters carried out the manual lifting of a "farm" (triangular structural element of a frame).

No crane but ropes and counterweights: 10 meters high and 14 wide, the imposing structure ended up being placed vertically on the square, at the cost of long efforts by the carpenters and to the applause of the public.

Identical to one of the 25 "farms" of the frame of Notre-Dame, destroyed in the fire, the structure of more than 3 tons was built in five days a few weeks ago, explained to AFP François Calame, founder of Charpentiers sans frontières, who assures us that the cathedral's "forest" could be rebuilt in the old-fashioned way within a reasonable time, if this technique were chosen.

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