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Priests in hard hats to attend Notre Dame’s first mass since fire | World news

Limited service to be held two months after Paris blaze amid warnings of risk of possible lead pollutionThe Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is to hold its first mass since it was ravaged by fire, as environmental campaigners continued to warn over possible lead pollution and the government confirmed that less than 10% of about €850m pledged by individuals and business leaders for its reconstruction has been paid.Saturday’s mass, two months after fire destroyed the roof of the 850-year-old landmark...

Notre Dame is becoming a symbol of Macron’s gung-ho presidency | Pauline Bock | Opinion

The innovation-obsessed president is at odds with most French people who would like a faithful restoration of the cathedralTo restore or to innovate? Ever since that terrible blaze laid waste to Notre Dame in April, the French nation has been divided between people who want to see the cathedral restored deliberately and precisely to its former glory, and those who prefer the view of the president, Emmanuel Macron, who vowed to “rebuild the Notre Dame so it is even more beautiful than it was”.Mac...

Children and pregnant women around Notre Dame warned over lead | World news

Appeal comes after child living nearby was found to have high levels of lead in bloodHealth authorities in Paris have urged children and pregnant women living around Notre Dame Cathedral to have the levels of lead in their blood checked amid concerns about the impact of the fire.The appeal comes after a child living on the Île de la Cité island in central Paris where Notre Dame is located was found to have high levels of lead in a blood test. Continue reading...

Rooftop pool? Notre Dame proposals defy traditionalists | World news

Designs from architects around world also suggest glass, crystal and metal spiresAn architecture firm has proposed replacing the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral with a swimming pool, as France prepares to launch an international competition to restore the fire-damaged gothic edifice to its former glory.After the roof and spire of Notre Dame were damaged in a fire watched worldwide in April, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, said he was open to a “contemporary gesture” in rebuilding it “more be...

Notre Dame firefighters should be tested for lead, say campaigners | World news

Those who battled cathedral blaze could have been exposed to toxic substances, say expertsFirefighters who battled the Notre Dame cathedral inferno as well as neighbouring residents and those who watched the fire from the streets should be tested for exposure to toxic materials, campaign groups have said.Experts consulted by the environmental group Robin des Bois have warned that the flames that destroyed the roof and spire of the medieval edifice sent at least 300 tonnes of lead into the air ab...

Notre Dame fire: police say air not toxic despite high lead levels on ground | World news

High lead levels after cathedral fire have led to concerns from environmental groupsParis authorities have warned of very high lead levels on the ground immediately surrounding the fire-damaged Notre Dame cathedral but insisted there was no danger from breathing the air, after environmental groups likened the site to “toxic waste”.The latter are preparing to step up pressure this week over the possible pollution danger from toxic metal particles from the cathedral fire. Campaign groups will hold...

Notre Dame's neighbours warned of lead contamination risk after fire | World news

Police advise cleaning dust with wet wipes after tests find particles of toxic metal released by cathedral fireNeighbours of the fire-stricken Notre Dame cathedral have been advised to use wet wipes to clean surfaces where lead-laden dust from the blaze may have settled.Tests have shown that the devastating 15 April fire released particles of the toxic metal that had been present in the frame of the church and its now-levelled spire, Paris police have said. Continue reading...

Yemen proves it: in western eyes, not all ‘Notre Dames’ are created equal | Lamya Khalidi | Opinion

As an archaeologist, I’ve seen Yemen’s rich heritage. But for too many world leaders, only arms sales really matterLike everyone else the world over, I watched in horror last week as Notre Dame burned and its spire fell. I saw the stunned reactions of onlookers on the news, on social media and in front of television sets and phone screens on the streets of Nice, where I live. A part of France’s national identity and an international symbol of Paris was collapsing before our eyes.This accidental ...

Scientists begin hunt for evidence on cause of Notre Dame fire | World news

Investigators enter cathedral to take samples and look for clues as to how blaze beganFrench police scientists have entered Notre Dame cathedral for the first time to begin gathering evidence on the cause of the fire that devastated the roof and destroyed the spire last week.Three different agencies will begin to take samples and look for clues that might suggest how the blaze began and ripped through the centuries-old gothic architectural masterpiece last week. Police are treating the blaze as ...

Climbers brought in to help protect Notre Dame from elements | World news

Protective tarpaulins unfurled over fire-ravaged cathedral to prevent rain damageClimbers have been brought in to unfurl protective tarpaulins over Notre Dame to protect it from the rain after the Parisian cathedral was left badly damaged and open to the elements by a fire last week.The blaze on 15 April felled the 850-year-old Gothic cathedral’s spire and destroyed two-thirds of its vaulted roof, leaving the building in a fragile condition. Continue reading...

Victor Hugo gave Notre Dame life as the vibrant heart of France. It can be reborn | Bradley Stephens | Opinion

The rise of The Hunchback of Notre Dame to the top of France’s bestseller list shows how much the spirit of the cathedral still mattersVictor Hugo was not enamoured with the title of Frederic Shoberl’s English translation of his 1831 novel Notre-Dame de Paris. For the future “great man” of French literature, the book’s main attraction was the gothic cathedral itself, not its hunchbacked bell-ringer. Hugo thought that Notre Dame’s sublime features could take us to new heights, both physical and s...