As work to rebuild and restore the Notre-Dame de Paris continues following its devastation by an outbreak of fire in April 2019, the doors of a new exhibition at the cathedral have opened to visitors, offering a glimpse into how technology and expertise have contributed to its reconstruction.
The exhibition, Notre-Dame de Paris: au cœur du chantier (or Notre-Dame de Paris: at the heart of the construction site), opened earlier this month under the forecourt of the cathedral in the Espace Notre-Dame – once an old car park that has now been transformed into a visitor reception and discovery centre.
Nicknamed the ‘House of construction and trades’, this exhibition draws together objects and artworks from the cathedral with immersive films to highlight the history of the cathedral, its stabilisation following the fire, and the incredible work of those involved in its restoration.
Among the objects on show is a large scaled model of the Notre-Dame, pipes from the cathedral’s great organ, and a stained-glass panel from the cloister of the sacristy representing the legend of Saint Geneviève, patroness of the city of Paris.
The exhibition also sheds light on how the stone vaulted ceiling at the cathedral’s transept crossing, which collapsed along with the spire, has been reconstructed. One of four polychrome angel heads that had adorned the vaulted ceiling is on display. It survived the fire after having fallen 33m from its original place.
Films detailing the colossal efforts of stonemasons, art conservators, engineers, forestry experts, and glassmakers to restore the cathedral’s exquisite architecture and artworks are interspersed throughout.
Notre-Dame de Paris: au cœur du chantier is free to the public and will run until the reopening of the cathedral at the end of 2024. It is open every day, except Monday, from 10am to 8pm.
For more information about the exhibition, visit: rebatirnotredamedeparis.fr