Scaffolding threatens Notre Dame Cathedral restoration

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The Notre Dame Cathedral is undergoing repairs in Paris, France, Aug. 16, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

Notre Dame Cathedral has just a 50 percent chance of being saved, because scaffolding installed before April's fire is threatening the vaults of the iconic cultural heritage site, its rector told local media on Wednesday.

Monsignor Patrick Chauvet said restoration work probably won't begin until 2021, because currently, the cathedral remains in danger until they remove the remaining scaffolding, according to local media.

There is also 50 percent chance of scaffolding falling onto the three vaults, so the church is very fragile, Chauvet was quoted as saying.

About 50,000 tubes of scaffolding crisscrossed the back of the building at the time of the fire, and some were damaged. Removing them without causing further damage is one of the major problems in the preliminary restoration work.

The cathedral failed to host Christmas services Wednesday, for the first time since the French Revolution, Chauvet told reporters.

The cathedral in central Paris caught fire on April 15. It is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, which receives about 12 million visitors each year.

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