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17 April 2019

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blue peacock

Col. Lang

Yes, it was very moving watching people gathered around the cathedral singing hymns as it burned.

I found it interesting that French luxury brand billionaires pledging hundreds of millions of euros to rebuild, yet insisting that their entire amount be tax deductible so they wouldn't have to pay any taxes. Critics claiming that was tantamount to taxpayer funding the rebuild. While the catholic churches in France are apparently owned by the government, I'm sure the incredibly wealthy Vatican could also very easily fund the reconstruction.

Macron it seems needed this moment to be perceived as presidential and rally the people to his presidency. I found many comments by people in France rather cynical saying Macron wants to make the rebuilding of the cathedral a national project while French infrastructure crumbles. I wonder if this turns the tide of rebellion against his presidency by the gilets jaunes.

turcopolier

This is a cynical and profoundly anti-Catholic comment. Your statement that tax deductions for contributions makes the French people pay is very like AOC's idiocy in claiming that tax forgiveness for Amazon would have made the people of NY City pay for the headquarters there. You are quite mistaken about the "incredible wealth of the Vatican." The great bilk of Catholic Church property around the world is owned by local foundations, religious orders and dioceses. I suppose that the accumulated liturgical property and art housed in the pope's palace in Rome could be sold and perhaps it should be. If you wish to criticize the Church you should do so on the basis of the sexual corruption and hypocrisy found in many of the clergy. What are you?

Artemesia

Thank you for posting (what I consider) this tribute Mary. Mary, mother of Jesus, is the penultimate treasure of Christianity.
I'd just been reading about building cathedrals in the Middle Ages, an together with that, medieval and Arthurian legends. Mary was a very real presence in the life of people whose lives were, from another perspective, "nasty, brutish and short." Mary gave those lives focus and value.

E Michael Jones (love him or hate him) speaks frequently about Hegel and the "cunning of history." It may be that out of the tragedy of the fire at Notre Dame can come a renewed focus on Mary.

(this sounds way too holy-joe pious, which is actually dramatically out of my character; that Hegel thing again.)

English Outsider


On the windows, it was reported that the fireman had learned from the consequences of a disastrous fire in York Minster.

During the York Minster fire water ran down the wall and on to the hot glass. That shattered it. In the Notre-Dame fire the firemen avoided that by directing the water to the interior, thus leaving the glass intact.

If that report is accurate it indicates a high degree of skill and co-ordination on the part of the fire fighters. One slip and a window would be gone. Apparently the damage generally, though severe, was less than would normally be expected. Maybe, as with the celebrated French artillery from way back, getting that sort of thing right is in the blood.

The roof timbers were an unseen marvel of Notre-Dame. I hope they are able to reproduce them.

blue peacock

Col. Lang,

As you have stated many times "analysis is not advocacy". In this case it was observation of what some French commentators were saying. I was not advocating one way or another.

The one element that is mine is about the wealth of the Vatican. I have read many articles that place different values on the assets of the church. To quote from this article by Time from 1965 "Bankers' best guesses about the Vatican's wealth put it at $10 billion to $15 billion. Of this wealth, Italian stockholdings alone run to $1.6 billion, 15% of the value of listed shares on the Italian market." I would assume if Time was accurate in its story, that in today's dollars that would be substantial.

http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,833509,00.html

Harper

Fully concur with Colonel Lang's beautiful words. While it was hard to raise the necessary funds to restore the Church prior to the fire, it now looks like there will be an outpouring of generosity and a real commitment to rebuild. Reminds me of the construction of the Dome of the Cathedral of Florence, which was an important part of the Renaissance with all that emerged from those great artists.

turcopolier

I have no idea what the assets of the diocese of Rome are worth. The assets of the Church worldwide are vastly greater, but, as I wrote, the vast bulk of them are not the property of the bishop of Rome and Patriarch of the West.

John Minnerath

After a few minutes it was obvious the Paris fire department had planned and trained for just such an incident. Controlling a major fire in something like Notre Dame without destroying the structure in the process took a high level of skill.
Photos of the interior after the fire was knocked down shows how successful they were.
There was probably flooding in basement levels, but I imagine they had dewatering pumps going as soon as possible. Maybe even while the exterior attack was going on if there was access.

Fred

John,

It was very good work from a dedicated group of professionals. I am very impressed with what they managed to accomplish.

Matt

vis a vis the roof beams, I noticed in one newspaper report a french chap pointing out that the original roof beams came from primal forest felled 800 years ago and he thought that no trees of that size existed within French territory today,

he seemed to think modern technology may have to provide a substitute,

I'm rather fond of magnificent and ancient trees, at a nearby church there is a sign by the Yew tree in the graveyard saying 'this tree was here at the time of Christ's birth'

walrus

Concur with Col. Lang. Sometimes tragedies such as this fire bring out the best in people.

Mark Logan

They may need it. Now that the weight of the roof is off there is an opportunity to work on those 800 year old walls and buttresses.The mortar is old and down low may have been damaged in the fire. The load on the buttresses will never be lower. If they need work now's the time.

johnf

Having a wholly secular media in Britain this was the first I'd heard that hymns were sung around the burning cathedral. I find that inspiring and a presage of hope for the future.

In the secular press in Britain Notre Dame is referred to solely as an "icon." Like so many churches now it is viewed as "art," "heritage", a cultural artefact. It is not considered a place where people meet God and vice versa. Hence I view Macron's desire to have the world's "greatest architects" build a new spire with hostility. London's skyline is dedicated to shiny glass collossi dedicated to the God of Mammon. I don't want some materialist thug designing and thus owning a sacred area.

The architect who designs it needs to be a practising christian, hopefully a Catholic. In my opinion the greatest piece of twentieth century architecture was designed by the devout Catholic Gaudi - The Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona. It will probably be the 21st centuries greatest piece of architecture too sinced it is still being built.

In the Middle Ages it was considered to be pious to take at least a century to build a cathedral. So that the original designer never saw his concept realised and thus be seduced into grandiose views of himself and his putting himself on an equal footing with God. The awful Macron is putting a five year maximum on the rebuild.

(Incidentally, I hope this calamity does nothing to stop the gallant Gilets Jaunes in their pilgrimage to overthrow Macron).

johnf

Having a wholly secular media in Britain this was the first I'd heard that hymns were sung around the burning cathedral. I find that inspiring and a presage of hope for the future.

In the secular press in Britain Notre Dame is referred to solely as an "icon." Like so many churches now it is viewed as "art," "heritage", a cultural artefact. It is not considered a place where people meet God and vice versa. Hence I view Macron's desire to have the world's "greatest architects" build a new spire with hostility. London's skyline is dedicated to shiny glass collossi dedicated to the God of Mammon. I don't want some materialist thug designing and thus owning a sacred area.

The architect who designs it needs to be a practising christian, hopefully a Catholic. In my opinion the greatest piece of twentieth century architecture was designed by the devout Catholic Gaudi - The Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona. It will probably be the 21st centuries greatest piece of architecture too sinced it is still being built.

In the Middle Ages it was considered to be pious to take at least a century to build a cathedral. So that the original designer never saw his concept realised and thus be seduced into grandiose views of himself and his putting himself on an equal footing with God. The awful Macron is putting a five year maximum on the rebuild.

(Incidentally, I hope this calamity does nothing to stop the gallant Gilets Jaunes in their pilgrimage to overthrow Macron).

The Beaver

yet insisting that their entire amount be tax deductible so they wouldn't have to pay any taxes
This is incorrect. It is someone inside the govt who has proposed this.
The Pinault family ( the first family who donated the first 100M€ ) has refused such deductions. Most probably Arnaud and Bettencourt family will follow suit.

All churches built before 1905 are owned by the State - just have to read up what reforms were made during the Third Republic

Norbert M Salamon

For those interested at https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/06/150622-andrew-tallon-notre-dame-cathedral-laser-scan-art-history-medieval-gothic/
a lengthy [slow loading] National Geographic movie shoo0wing laser measurement of Notre Dame with completed pics of laser points, wireframe and graphic of the Church based on laser measurement.
Enjoy

rho

What was the cause of the fire? Official French "preliminary investigations", which are based on incomplete access to the building say that some electrical equipment used during the renovations on the roof, where the scaffolding was, failed.

However, there have been dozens of cases of church arsons and vandalism in France in the past year - here is a Newsweek article from March 21 2019: https://www.newsweek.com/spate-attacks-catholic-churches-france-sees-altars-desecrated-christ-statue-1370800

Footage obtained from a webcam recording the Notre Dame roof at 5:05 pm on the day of the fire (that is after the work hours of the construction workers but about 2 hours before the flames were visible) show suspicious activity by a so far unknown person who does not look like a construction worker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZ8rN0o_lUw&feature=youtu.be

English Outsider


I'd imagine it's around. A friend used some Polish timber in a reconstruction project. Old and big trees. He said it must have been from an area that had been fought over in the war. The bullets sometimes caught his tools but nothing serious. A book I have on mediaeval carpentry techniques implies they used it green and that's what's commonly thought about the old barns. Maybe. But a common sight until not that long ago was big oaks trimmed and left to season in wet ground. No rot in the heart wood because it was oak and no shakes because it was permanently damp. I've tried it and the timber comes out very stable. As for the craftsmen, they're forever cutting out and replacing bits of old cathedrals so there'll be people around who know what to do.

I hope therefore they go for replacing it as original. Somehow faking it up with steel wouldn't be the same. As they said with the old Shaker furniture, when they were asked why they finished the back as well as the front when no one could see it, God sees it.

I don't know if the paywall blocks it just for one item but here's a brief account of some of the work done during the fire.


https://premium.telegraph.co.uk/newsletter/article0/you-never-imagine-as-a-firefighter-being-called-on-to-save-notre-dame-the-hero-parisians-who-saved-their-cathedral/

Turcopolier

"Former architect of Note Dam cathedral says the official narrative of how the fire started doesn't jive. 800 year old oak is really hard to ignite. highly unlikely an electrical short circuit took place, and that it would take an extraordinary effort to ignite the ancient oak of the cathedral.
>
> “So, you’re telling us that this type of timber doesn’t burn like that?” Mouton was asked.
>
> “Oak that is 800-years-old is very hard – try to burn it,” Mouton said. “Old oak, it is not easy at all. You would need a lot of kindling to succeed… It stupefies me.”
>
> Asked to present an explanation for how the blaze spread so quickly and with such strength, Mouton asserted that there were no additional precautions that could have been taken to ensure such a “quick” incineration could be prevented.
>
> “In the Nineties, we updated all the electrical wiring of Notre Dame,” Mouton said. “So there is no possibility of a short circuit. We updated to conform with the contemporary norms, even going very far – all the detection and protection systems against fire."
>
> Mouton said that there are two watchmen on duty around the clock who monitor for any chance of fire"

optimax

I worked on an old log cabin, many years ago, built with old-growth oak. The wood was so hard, over a hundred years old, we couldn't drive nails into it. The logs were a foot-and-a-half squared.

It took 13,000 trees to build Notre Dame. Probablt most of it was old-growth oak which ism't around now, or, if it is, would be protected from harvesting. Tight grained oak for rebuilding would most likely be reclaimed from old barns and such. Engineered wood beams would be a good solution.

I've been reading SST, learning and enjoying, but am too paranoid to sign on.

optimax


forgot to add that Al-Aqsa had a fire the same time as Notre Dame. It wasn't devastating but quite a coincidence.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/small-fire-broke-out-jerusalems-al-aqsa-mosque-flames-ravaged-notre-dame-180971983/

Attila Altan

You are both wrong....

In France you can either pay 100$ taxes to the government, or donate money to some charity, up to 66% being deductible from your income taxes.

So giving 66$ to rebuild Notre Dame + paying 33$ taxes,
or paying 100$ taxes,
is exactly the SAME THING.

As a result, those "huge donations" won't cost anything to the Arnaud, Pinault, etc and will actually be paid by regular folks...

PS: There is a proposal so that the 66% rate be raised to 90% but I doubt it'll pass and Macron really doesn't need that kind of "publicity" right now...

John Minnerath

Regarding Mouton. He's an architect and his knowledge of fire science is poor.
While a single match won't light a big timber beam, a supply of lighter fuels will. Anyone who's ever built a campfire knows that basic bit of fire science. Remember this was in an ancient attic filled with who knows what sorts of flammable materials and there was also considerable construction work going on in it.
When an alarm went off at the cathedral security center, a church employee went to the attic to check and reported seeing no fire.
20 plus minutes later a 2nd alarm went off, then 2 employees went to the attic and reported massive flames.
Only after about a half hour was the fire department finally called.
By this time those "hard to light" oak timbers were most likely fully involved.
This is a much different procedure than we see in most places when the fire department will roll on all alarms, and will be very happy to find a fire still small enough to knock down with a single small hand line.

I would rather wait till the fire investigators finish their work and see if they can actually determine a cause.

optimax

the last sentence I dropped the disqus at the end

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