The first 8 oaks were selected today in the Bercé forest, in the Sarthe (north-western region of France) to be used in the reconstruction of part of the Notre-Dame spire in Paris. In total, a thousand oaks from all regions of France were offers for the reconstruction of the cathedral and in particular to redo the skeleton of the spire by the architect Viollet-le-Duc, destroyed in the fire of 15 April 2019, in addition to the transept and adjacent beams.
To launch the initiative, the Minister of Agriculture Julien Denormandie and that of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot, symbolically applied a plaque on one of the plants, with the words “tree number 1”. “It is a construction site that covers the whole of France – said General Jean-Louis Georgelin, who as president of the public body in charge of securing and restoring Notre-Dame – will ensure the safety of the cathedral for 8-10 centuries “.
All regions of France have donated oaks for this enterprise, the state offered 355 trees from the plots managed by the National Forest Authority. A thousand trees will have to be cut down by the end of March in order to be sawn and prepared. Then they will have to wait a period of 12-18 months to reach a humidity of less than 30%. With the preparation of the wood, the reconstruction phase begins of Notre-Dame which should start next autumn and which will allow the reopening of the cathedral of Paris in April 2024, as foreseen by the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron. The safety phase is currently nearing completion.
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