BFF-36 Chinese experts to help in Notre-Dame reconstruction

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BFF-36

CULTURE-CHINA-FRANCE

Chinese experts to help in Notre-Dame reconstruction

BEIJING, Nov 6, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Chinese experts will
participate in the restoration of France’s Notre-Dame cathedral,
state media reported on Wednesday, following a meeting between the
two countries’ heads of state in Beijing.

The 850-year-old cathedral, which was scarred in April after
a fire tore through its roof and toppled its spire, was the most
visited historic monument in Europe.

Since the blaze, which took 400 firefighters to control,
Chinese and French authorities have been in touch about
cooperating on restoration efforts, reported official news agency
Xinhua.

“China has a great deal of experience in renovating ancient
buildings affected by fire, especially ones made of wood,” said
Chai Xiaoming, director of the Chinese Academy of Cultural
Heritage, in an interview with state-run China Daily.

“This means we could offer suggestions on how to approach the
renovation of the oak-framed roof on Notre Dame Cathedral,” he
said.

Citing a document signed by the two countries during
President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Beijing, Xinhua said Chinese
experts will work with French teams in on-site restoration without
elaborating.

“China and France will collaborate on the theme and model and
select Chinese expert candidates for the cooperative restoration
work in 2020,” it said.

The partial destruction of Notre-Dame sparked an outpouring
of condolences around the world earlier this year, with Chinese
President Xi Jinping calling the cathedral “an outstanding
treasure of human civilisation.”

Though its stained glass windows, towers, bells and most
artworks and relics survived, reconstruction work to rebuild the
13th-century cathedral will take years.

It is only at the end of 2020 that a complete check will
allow architects to work out how to restore the cathedral — and
no reconstruction is expected to start before 2021.

In addition to Notre-Dame, the agreement signed on Wednesday
will also see France and China collaborate on protecting China’s
famous terracotta warriors in Xi’an, northern Shaanxi province,
reported Xinhua.

BSS/AFP/ARS/1956 hrs