The threat of destruction by fire is over, but Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral still faces serious challenges, one of them being bad weather. As storms moved toward Paris this week, professional mountain climbers were enlisted to install synthetic, waterproof tarps over the exterior of the cathedral, to prevent further damage by water. Since the church is completely exposed to the elements due to the gutted roof, rain could wreak havoc on the structure, the interior, and any artwork still residing within.
Philippe Villenueve, the architect-in-chief, said that installing the protective covers Tuesday was incredibly time-sensitive, and that workers had to act fast. This is why professional mountain climbers and scaffolders were hired, to expedite the process and ensure that the tarps were installed quickly.
Before the tarpaulins were installed, some of Notre Dame’s remaining statues were removed in order to prevent them from potentially being damaged.
It is still unclear when reconstruction of the cathedral will start. French President Emmanuel Macron hopes to have the edifice renovated and opened in five years, an estimate deemed too optimistic by some experts.