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New VR Experience Takes You Inside Notre Dame Before and After the Devastating 2019 Fire

News Entertainment
by Eben Diskin Aug 18, 2020

A new virtual reality experience called “Rebuilding Notre Dame” allows people to experience the famous Parisian cathedral before and after the destructive fire that occurred in April 2019. The 18-minute experience blends footage filmed a few months prior to the fire with film taken afterward.

The experience was launched by virtual tourism venue FlyView in central Paris. Participants wear VR headsets, sit in spinning armchairs, and are treated to 360-degree views of the landmark building, both inside and outside.

Arnaud Houette, FlyView’s director, told The Art Newspaper, “We want people to have the impression of being inside Notre Dame and feel the strong emotion everyone felt last year.”

The documentary experience features drone images of the fire itself, as recorded by the city of Paris, shots of the scaffolding, and views of the interior. The experience intertwines footage recorded before and after the incident to highlight the immense damage, and includes interviews with Paris’ mayor, the cathedral’s rector, and General Jean-Louis Georgelin, who heads the reconstruction efforts. Participants will even get to see the cathedral’s attic and sacristy, two areas usually inaccessible to the public.

The experience costs about $23, with a portion of the proceeds going toward Notre Dame’s reconstruction.

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