The wooden spire of Notre-Dame cathedral is being re-built using centuries-old oak trees felled from a former royal forest – almost two years after it was destroyed in a fire.
The lead-coated spire, which for more than 150 years had defined the central Paris skyline, was consumed by the blaze in April 2019, collapsing through the stone-vaulted roof to the tears and gasps of distraught onlookers.
President Emmanuel Macron announced last summer the 96-metre (315ft) spire would be reconstructed as originally designed by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century, and the hunt for the 1,000 oaks required to build the spire and the frame of the cathedral’s transept began.
At the beginning of this year, the perfect trees were identified in Domaine de Berce, near Le Mans. They must all be chopped down before the end of March before the sap rises and the wood contains too much moisture.
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