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02:54

France: Notre Dame statues luckily removed for restoration days before fire go on display

France, Marsac-sur-l’Isle
May 12, 2019 at 18:31 GMT +00:00 · Published

Visitors flocked to a workshop in the commune of Marsac-sur-l'Isle in southern France to see the statues that escaped the Notre Dame cathedral fire, as filmed on Saturday. The sculptures, each weighing about 227 kilograms (500 pounds), were taken from its roof for renovation just days before the tragedy.

The statues, which were added at the bottom of the cathedral's famous spire in 1860, depict the Twelve Apostles and Four Evangelists from the New Testament. Their heads were detached for safer transportation to the workshop of SOCRA - the company responsible for the restoration.

After the fire, SOCRA decided to put the statues on display at its workshop in Marsac-sur-l'Isle.

"We decided to open the doors because the heritage belongs to everyone", said Nicholas Plasson, the manager of restoration works at SOCRA.

The workshop is open for public visits every Saturday in May after prior registration. The sculptures were scheduled to return to Notre Dame's roof in 2022, but those plans have been delayed by the fire.

According to local media, visitor numbers have been limited to 105 people per Saturday, and the viewings are reportedly already fully booked up until October.

02:54
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Description

Visitors flocked to a workshop in the commune of Marsac-sur-l'Isle in southern France to see the statues that escaped the Notre Dame cathedral fire, as filmed on Saturday. The sculptures, each weighing about 227 kilograms (500 pounds), were taken from its roof for renovation just days before the tragedy.

The statues, which were added at the bottom of the cathedral's famous spire in 1860, depict the Twelve Apostles and Four Evangelists from the New Testament. Their heads were detached for safer transportation to the workshop of SOCRA - the company responsible for the restoration.

After the fire, SOCRA decided to put the statues on display at its workshop in Marsac-sur-l'Isle.

"We decided to open the doors because the heritage belongs to everyone", said Nicholas Plasson, the manager of restoration works at SOCRA.

The workshop is open for public visits every Saturday in May after prior registration. The sculptures were scheduled to return to Notre Dame's roof in 2022, but those plans have been delayed by the fire.

According to local media, visitor numbers have been limited to 105 people per Saturday, and the viewings are reportedly already fully booked up until October.

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