The Guardian

Notre Dame restoration: how to save an iconic building from fire

Help offered to the cathedral’s repairers amid hopes the Parisian landmark can be restored
Firefighters battle the blaze at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. Photograph: Handout/BSPP via Getty Images

John David, the master stonemason at York Minster, remembers the night of 9 July 1984 well. At about 2am, a lightning bolt hit the cathedral’s south transept and started a fire that raged through the building, collapsing the roof and causing millions of pounds’ worth of damage.

“I remember some people coming to the building in tears,” he said. “I didn’t have that emotion. I was just thinking ‘let’s get it all cleared out and get it rebuilt’. There

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