Last year, the fire at Notre-Dame de Paris sparked emotion across France. Emotion among religious, Christians but not only. For some, beyond a place of worship, it is part of the French heritage that went up in smoke.
To understand why, without making victims, this fire shocked the French so much, for a year, the teams of a report broadcast on Saturday April 12 at 1:30 p.m. on TF1 followed those who were most deeply affected: those who inside the cathedral, set out to rebuild everything, and those who lived for Notre-Dame and who find themselves today outside, excluded from their own world.
Thanks to them and with exceptional access, the team of this document was able to follow, from the inside, the security and the start of the construction of Notre-Dame.
This site is anything but ordinary. Philippe Villeneuve, the chief architect, has the rose window of Notre-Dame tattooed on the heart. He was already watching over Notre-Dame before the fire and fate gave him an unimaginable mission: to save the one he loves: ” I don’t sleep anymore, I only think about that. Yes, I only live for my cathedral. When I was a kid, I was already crazy about Notre-Dame, I had a model in my room. So, I tell myself that all my life before the fire, prepared me to live this moment that I live today “
The rope access technicians are strong and agile men who spend their time suspended in the air. They will be on the front line to remove the scaffolding burned and welded by the fire which weighs 300 tonnes and whose tubes break like glass. Nobody knows how this giant mikado will react. Grégory Vacheron, the head of the rope access technicians: “I never did that. Tackling something so unstable is new! “
Monseigneur Chauvet, gave mass every evening at Notre-Dame, his presbytery was attached to the cathedral and he finds himself today on the wrong side of the palisades. This is the first of the banned. But he wants to get back on the square by installing the statue of the Virgin who sat enthroned in Notre-Dame. “Tourists who come to Paris, they want to see Notre-Dame, not palisades! We have to bring this square back to life. There it is empty, look, it’s sad to cry! “
On the Ile de la Cité, Farid and Georges have worked in the same restaurant for 20 years and live in the same building with windows overlooking Notre-Dame. Georges is the boss, Farid the waiter. April 15, 2019 “ It was horrible, you could feel the heat even with the window closed.” Since then, Farid has avoided looking at Notre-Dame through his window “because it reminds me of bad memories “
Christophe Rousselot heads the Notre-Dame foundation, and his life was also transformed by the fire. He sees an increase in donations but also in the need for fresh money that the works require. Today, he is going to Geneva on the occasion of the auction for the benefit of Notre-Dame of an extraordinary gold medal estimated at at least 50,000 euros.