Melted Notre Dame scaffold to be removed to begin restoration work

Melted Notre Dame scaffold to be removed to begin restoration work
© Getty images

The melted scaffolding on top of the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral will reportedly be removed “in the coming weeks” so restoration work can begin, according to France’s culture minister.

French Culture Minister Franck Riester on Tuesday said conservation work to repair the cathedral would take several more months, and other work to measure the building’s soundness must also take place, The Associated Press reports.

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Riester also denied that the French government had been slow to notice that the lead that melted from the Paris cathedral’s roof had potentially harmful effects, adding that health officials were taking samples of the surrounding area to check for possible lead contamination, according to the AP.

The 13th-century cathedral suffered from a massive fire on April 15 that destroyed its spire and part of its roof. An official cause of the blaze has yet to be determined, though authorities say it could be linked to ongoing renovations.

The structure is unlikely to reopen to the public for at least three years, a spokesman for the Parisian landmark said in April.

The fire prompted outreach from the international community, with $17.7 million worth of donations made to the Notre Dame Foundation in the two months after the fire. An additional $425 million was pledged by donors, though many big-money French donors did not immediately donate what they said they’d give to the cause.