On April 15, 2019, images of Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral on fire transfixed the world. On Thursday, April 16, at 7 p.m. ET/PT, National Geographic Channel broadcasts Saving Notre Dame, a 10-month chronicle of efforts to raise the medieval church from the ashes.
From NatGeo Channel:
SAVING NOTRE DAME recounts the aftermath of the devastating fire and unprecedented one-year rescue mission to prevent the unstable Cathedral from collapsing.
The one-hour special not only brings viewers to the heart of the action to understand the steps of reconstruction, but also pays tribute to the bond of solidarity and know-how of the dedicated team of craftsmen and highly skilled workers.
Rebuilding efforts captured in SAVING NOTRE DAME includes:
The intrepid rope-access technicians, suspended in mid-air, carefully removing debris above a damaged vault over the north Rose Window.
Firsthand accounts from the workers on the tough challenges they faced: shaky scaffolding, intense storm winds, and strict decontamination protocols due to the 200 tons of lead released into the air by the fire.
Experts Daniel Libeskind, (Masterplan Architect of the World Trade Center), Candida Moss (Professor of Theology at Britain's University of Birmingham), and Lindsay Cook (Professor of Art and Architecture, Vassar College) offer perspective on topics such as history, religion and architecture.
Additionally, NationalGeographic.com just released “Coronavirus Upended Notre Dame’s Future. WWII May Have Some Answers.,” written by Nat Geo archaeology expert Kristin Romey. The story -- click here to read -- details how lessons learned from previous historical catastrophes like WWII, can help chart a course in the rebuilding of Notre Dame Cathedral. Romney also reveals how the coronavirus pandemic has halted crucial work, including stabilizing the roof, which is in serious jeopardy of collapsing.
Here are a couple of video clips of SAVING NOTRE DAME, provided by NatGeo Channel for embedding:
On April 10, Good Friday, the world got a glimpse inside the cathedral when Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris led a mediation within the building -- with some participants wearing protective gear -- on the Crown of Thorns, a relic which has been in Paris since the 13th century.
During the fire, Father Jean-Marc Fournier, a chaplain for the Paris Fire Brigade, orchestrated a rescue effort to retrieve the Blessed Sacrament and other relics, including the Crown.
Here's EWTN's coverage of the event:
Image: National Geographic Channel/©GEDEON
Kate O’Hare, a longtime entertainment journalist, is Social Media Manager and blog editor at Family Theater Productions.