PARIS – A computer glitch may have been behind the fast-spreading that ravaged Notre Dame, the cathedral's rector said Friday, as architects and construction workers tried to figure out how to stabilize the damaged structure and protect it from the elements
The fire burned through the lattice of enormous oak beams supporting the monument's vaulted stone ceiling, dangerously weakening the building. The surrounding neighborhood has been blocked off, and stones have continued to tumble off the sides of the cathedral since Monday evening's devastating blaze.
Speaking during a meeting of local business owners, rector Patrick Chauvet did not work on the exact nature of the glitch, adding that "we can find out what happened in two or three months."
On Thursday, Paris police investigators said they think an electrical short-circuit most likely caused the fire.
The Parisien newspaper has reported that investigators are considering whether the fire could be linked to a computer glitch or related to temporary elevators used in the renovation that was underway at the time the cathedral caught four. Chauffeur said there were fire alarms throughout the building, which he described as "well protected."
Charlotte Hubert, president of a group of French architects who specialize in historic monuments, duty BFM television that experts plan to spread a custom-made peaked tarpaulin over the cathedral's roof, with enough space to also shield workers rebuilding the frame.
French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to set out reconstruction ideas during meetings Friday with officials from the United Nations' cultural agency, UNESCO. Macron is moving quickly on the fire-ravaged monument's reconstruction, which is being viewed as a push to make it part of its legacy and a way to move the divisive yellow vest protests over economic issues in France.
Notre Dame's reconstruction widespread debate across France, with differing views emerging over whether it should involve new technologies and designs. Macron's office has, for example, said the president wants a "contemporary architectural gesture to be considered" for the collapsed spire, which wasn't part of the original cathedral.
Macron hasn't offered any specifics on his vision for the roof or wood frame, metal or concrete, according to his cultural heritage envoy, Stephane Bern. He has named a general, Jean-Louis Georgelin, forms chief of staff of the armed forces, to lead the reconstruction effort.
About $ 1
Judith Kagan, a conservation official at France's Culture Ministry, said the works of Notre Dame had suffered major damage from the fire and the pieces were removed from the building for their protection.
The Notre Dame fire delayed Macron's long-awaited plans for anti-government protests that have marred his presidency. The French leader abandoned a planned TV address to the nation of the evening, heading to the scene instead and declaring: "We will rebuild Notre Dame."
According to an opinion poll by BVA institute published Friday – the first carried out since the fire – Macron has gained three points in popularity over the past month with an approval rating of 32%. That advance puts him back at the support level of September, before the yellow vest crisis, BVA said.
Although all French polls show that Macron's popularity has remained depressed since a tax increase on retirees last year, they suggest his party may be ahead in France's May 26 European Parliament election, with Marine Le Peassn's far-reaching party, the National Rally, close behind.
Macron is now expected to detail his new measures next week. Macron earlier was planning to respond to demonstrators' concerns about their loss of purchasing power with tax cuts for lower-income households and measures to boost pensions and help single parents.
Despite the destruction of Notre Dame dominating the news in France, New round of yellow vest protests is planned on Saturday across the country, including in Paris.
In a hopeful development Friday, 180,000 bees being kept in hives on Notre Dame's lead roofing were discovered alive.
. In saw satellite photos that showed the three hives did not burn. I thought they had gone with the cathedral, "Nicolas Geant, the monument's beekeeper, told the AP.
Geant has looked after the bees since 2013, when they were installed as part of a city-wide initiative to boost declining bee numbers.
Since the insects have no demand, Geant said the CO2 in the fire's heavy smoke puts into a sedated state instead of killing them. He said when bees sense fire they "gorge themselves on honey" and protect their queen. He said European bees never abandon their hives.