Workers to begin untangling charred metal web on Notre Dame

National/World

People walk on the forecourt of Notre Dame’s Cathedral, in Paris, Sunday, May 31, 2020. Notre Dame Cathedral’s forecourt is being opened up to the public for the first time since the devastating fire of April 15 last year. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

PARIS (AP) — Workers suspended from ropes will be lowered into the charred remains of scaffolding that melted atop Notre Dame when the cathedral went up in flames and begin the delicate job of dismantling the 200 tons of metal.

An announcement that the work will start Monday and last through the summer months came Sunday from the office overseeing the restoration of the centuries-old jewel of Gothic architecture ravaged by fire on April 15, 2019.

Two teams of five workers each will take turns descending on ropes into the heat-warped web of scaffolding, made up of 40,000 pieces, and cut with saws through metal tubes that fused together in the inferno. The chunks will then be lifted out by a crane.

The imposing tower of scaffolding was erected before the blaze for the restoration of Notre Dame’s spire that was then toppled and destroyed by the flames.

Teams have spent months consolidating the structure with metal girders so it can be dismantled without collapsing.

The cathedral is still closed, and will be for several years during renovations.

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