Start of restoration work on the stained glass windows of Notre-Dame Cathedral, damaged during the 2019 fire

Restoration work on the stained glass windows of Notre-Dame Cathedral has begun, more than three years after a fire destroyed its roof and collapsed its spire.

The windows were heavily stained with smoke and dust from the April 2019 fire, which blocked outside light and obscured the color range of the 170-year-old glass.

Eight French glassmakers began the meticulous operation of cleaning and restoring the 39 high windows of the nave, the choir, the transept and the sacristy of the medieval cathedral.

The glass cleaning process involves gently rubbing the surface with cotton wool soaked in water and ethanol, a delicate and repetitive process aimed at collecting deposits without damaging the window.

Flavie Serrière Vincent-Petit, head of the eponymous stained glass company in the southwest of Paris, was commissioned to restore 22 stained glass windows.

“There is a big cleaning phase, to wash off both the dust from the fire and the dirt resulting from human breathing, as well as the soot from the candles, so that we can put the windows back in place and restore all the brightness at Notre Dame,” she said. .

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Chronology of the fire of Notre-Dame

The workshop of Cologne Cathedral in Germany is also taking part in the reconstruction by restoring the stained glass windows of four high windows.

The cathedral has been closed for restoration since the April 2019 fire gutted its roof and sent its spire crashing through the vaults below.

The aim is to reopen the cathedral by 2024 when France hosts the Olympic Games.

The stained glass windows of Notre-Dame were created by architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, who also designed the 96-meter spire.


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