Soaring drone footage over Notre Dame Cathedral shows men hauling sheets over its roof

Soaring drone footage has shown large sheets of temporary roofing being hauled over Notre Dame Cathedral to protect it from the elements.

Engineers have been seen this week working on cranes and in harnesses to shore up the church’s defences after it was ravaged by a ferocious inferno which stunned the world on April 15. 

French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to rebuild it within five years and France has launched an international competition for the reconstruction of the cathedral’s 19th-century spire, which collapsed into the nave during the blaze.

However, more than a thousand French and international architects have warned Macron his rapid plans risked building quality with a ‘political agenda.’ 

Men in harnesses and hardhats haul a massive white sheet over the roof of the cathedral in Paris to protect it from the elements

Men in harnesses and hardhats haul a massive white sheet over the roof of the cathedral in Paris to protect it from the elements

Men in harnesses and hardhats haul a massive white sheet over the roof of the cathedral in Paris to protect it from the elements

Men in harnesses with hardhats fasten down white sheets over the roof of the cathedral

Men in harnesses with hardhats fasten down white sheets over the roof of the cathedral

Men in harnesses with hardhats fasten down white sheets over the roof of the cathedral

Flames and smoke rise from the blaze at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15

Flames and smoke rise from the blaze at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15

Flames and smoke rise from the blaze at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15

In a column published by French newspaper Le Figaro on Monday, they urge Macron to ‘let historians and experts have the time for diagnosis before deciding on the future of the monument.’

They call for a well-considered, thoughtful and ethical approach and warn against a ‘political agenda’ based on speed.

France’s government last week presented a bill aimed at speeding up the reconstruction of Notre Dame that would allow workers to skip some ordinary renovation procedures. 

A survey on Tuesday revealed a majority of French people want it restored exactly the way it was, with just a quarter backing a modern ‘architectural gesture.’

French MPs are scrutinising the new law which would relax tender and some heritage rules to help speed the restoration, and are likely to start debating it on May 10, a source said.

The law would also give tax advantages to donors and set up a public body to oversee and carry out the work. 

Men work at Notre-Dame Cathedral on Monday to ensure the site is protected from the weather

Men work at Notre-Dame Cathedral on Monday to ensure the site is protected from the weather

Men work at Notre-Dame Cathedral on Monday to ensure the site is protected from the weather

A crane can be seen in place over the top of the cathedral this week as professionals work to ensure the church is defended against the elements

A crane can be seen in place over the top of the cathedral this week as professionals work to ensure the church is defended against the elements

A crane can be seen in place over the top of the cathedral this week as professionals work to ensure the church is defended against the elements

Wooden boards and a white sheets can be seen placed over the roof of the centuries-old church

Wooden boards and a white sheets can be seen placed over the roof of the centuries-old church

Wooden boards and a white sheets can be seen placed over the roof of the centuries-old church

A white sheet can be seen strapped down to the top of the cathedral to protect it from the elements

A white sheet can be seen strapped down to the top of the cathedral to protect it from the elements

A white sheet can be seen strapped down to the top of the cathedral to protect it from the elements

White sheets can be seen over the roof after professionals placed weather-proofing material this week

White sheets can be seen over the roof after professionals placed weather-proofing material this week

White sheets can be seen over the roof after professionals placed weather-proofing material this week

Donations to help rebuild the cathedral have poured in from around the globe, with the total now topping 850 million euros (£730 million). 

One 18-year-old carpenter apprentice is keen to join the ranks of those given the prestigious task of working on the old roof.

‘It would be an achievement to be able to say that we participated in the creation of Notre-Dame,’ Romain Legoube said.

Legoube is one of around 10,000 students trained every year by Les Compagnons du Devoir, a guild association created over 70 years ago, with a nod to medieval traditions, to train people in different crafts.

Legoube hopes one day to walk on the vaults of the site and rebuild the frame of the roof, as previous builders of cathedrals did before him.

Professional mountain climbers work on a part of Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday

Professional mountain climbers work on a part of Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday

Professional mountain climbers work on a part of Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday

French firm Studio NAB said that it wanted to look at the redesign of Notre Dame as a question of environmental, educational and social integration

French firm Studio NAB said that it wanted to look at the redesign of Notre Dame as a question of environmental, educational and social integration

French firm Studio NAB said that it wanted to look at the redesign of Notre Dame as a question of environmental, educational and social integration

But first, he must obtain his certification, and travel around workplaces in France and abroad to become a skilled craftsman.

Jean-Claude Bellanger, who heads up the Compagnons du Devoir association, alerted the French government in the wake of the fire that there was a lack of manpower in the building trade, which could slow down Notre-Dame’s reconstruction.

Bellanger said the organisation’s partner companies are facing a shortage of about 100 stonecutters, 100 masons, 150 carpenters and 200 roofers. 

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