Firefighters that responded to last year’s fire at Notre Dame knew which works of art to rescue and in which order following a protocol developed for such a disaster.

Scientists are leading Notre Dame’s restoration—and probing mysteries laid bare by its devastating fire

Eight restoration scientists put on hard hats and heavy-duty boots and stepped inside the blackened shell of Notre Dame de Paris, the world’s most famous cathedral. Ten days earlier, a fire had swept through its attic, melted its roof, and sent its spire plunging like an arrow into the heart of the sacred space. Now, it was silent but for the flutter of house sparrows. The space, normally sweet with incense, was acrid with ash and stale smoke. Light beamed through voids in the vaulted stone ceiling, cutting through the gloom and illuminating piles of debris on the marble floor.

Yet the scientists, called in by France’s Ministry of Culture to inspect the damage and plan a rescue, mostly felt relief—and even hope. Rattan chairs sat in tid… Continue Reading (15 minute read)

14 thoughts on “Firefighters that responded to last year’s fire at Notre Dame knew which works of art to rescue and in which order following a protocol developed for such a disaster.”

  1. uitSCHOT

    A lot of institutions have that kind of planning in place to properly react to any kind of incident (flooding, fire, gasleak, etc.).
    I’m part of the salvage team at my museum and we train monthly for disaster situations and the collection is organised so we know which objects in which room have priority.

  2. gravebandit

    God, that fire was only last year? It seems like a lifetime ago.

  3. drfuyutsuki

    Plan for the worst, hope for the best. Good on them for planning and training appropriately.

  4. Brad_Wesley

    Have we ever seen a good report on what happened?

  5. Meanwhile-in-Paris

    I recently Learned that that framework was a prototype made of lead. It was never supposed to be permanent and the last architect always wanted to replace it with a safer structure. I truly hope these first responder won’t suffer the consequences of having breathed those fumes.
    I can’t believe the government wants to rebuild the structure exactly how it was, it makes no sense.

  6. Landlubber77

    Must’ve looked like Supermarket Sweep up in there. Melinda is going for those whole Butterball turkeys, sure to fetch a pretty penny at the register, while Jeff is taking the time to grind his own coffee!

  7. claudekennilol

    I still can’t believe that happened. We were there a week before that happened. And later that year Shuri Castle (Japan) burned down a week after we were there, too. Luckily we haven’t visited any national landmarks after covid started

  8. A40

    “Michel, you’re biggest, you go get the Rose Window. Take a ladder.”

  9. Bluesub41

    Well I recently watched a French documentary on how they tackled the Notre Dame incident, and it seemed to me that they had no pre-attack plans of any kind in place to deal with such a fire, and it was said by the Head of the Paris fire service that they had no idea how to save the building, until a much more junior officer presented the plan that dealt with it.

  10. felinemooddisorder

    Emergency management

  11. drs1706

    I helped on a plan for St Magnus cathedral in Orkney, identifying where each and every item to be saved if possible was. Touch wood it’ll never be needed.

  12. takoyakifan

    I work at a small museum and I have an emergency plan that folds up and fits behind my ID badge that includes priority documents and objects to save if possible. There are free templates for this sort of thing online if you ever wanted to make one for your home or workplace.

  13. Drunk_Scottish_King

    This is called an “Incident Action Plan”. A lot of of large companies, or hospitals and the like will have this so the fire fighters know (almost) exactly what to do when they show up.

  14. TxSilent

    Imagine being the artist that made the least important work of art. Feels bad

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