European heat wave could further damage Notre Dame Cathedral
© Getty Images

A potential record-breaking heatwave set to sweep through Europe this week could cause further damage to the Notre Dame Cathedral that was severely damaged by a fire in April.

Philippe Villeneuve, the chief architect of France’s historic monuments, told reporters Wednesday that the heat wave could cause the vaulted ceilings of Notre Dame to collapse, according to The Associated Press.

ADVERTISEMENT

Villeneuve said the cathedral's stone walls are still covered with water sprayed by firefighters who extinguished the fire in mid-April, and that potential record-setting temperatures could dry the walls too quickly and possibly cause them to collapse.

“What I fear is that the joints or the masonry, as they dry, lose their cohesion ... and all of sudden, the vault gives way,” he said.

Temperatures in Paris are forecast to exceed 100 degrees Thursday. The heat wave could last through Friday, with temperatures nearing 105 degrees.

Specialists are working in advance of the heat wave to further secure Notre Dame’s structure before full reconstruction work begins.

An electrical short-circuit was found to have likely caused the fire that ravaged the iconic cathedral.