Left Menu
Development News Edition

Prized Notre-Dame tapestry out of danger after water worries

PTI | Paris | Updated: 13-09-2019 18:42 IST | Created: 13-09-2019 18:42 IST
Prized Notre-Dame tapestry out of danger after water worries

Paris, Sep 13 (AFP) A rare royal tapestry housed at Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris has been spared the water damage officials feared, after firefighters doused the great mediaeval edifice to extinguish last April's devastating blaze. The huge tapestry, finished under the reign of king Louis Philippe in 1838, was evacuated from the gothic monument just days after the fire.

It had been stored in two parts in trunks -- which protected it from the molten lead falling from the roof, which was destroyed along with the steeple in the April 15 disaster. But the tapestry had soaked up huge amounts of water, which swelled its weight to three tonnes from just one tonne when it was handed over to France's Mobilier National, which oversees the country's collection of valuable furniture and artworks.

"Rolled up, it would have been a bacterial soup" that could have quickly started rotting, said Herve Lemoine, head of the Mobilier National. "Once it was unrolled, we had to dry it in a huge wind tunnel and then freeze it to keep mould from developing," Lemoine told AFP this week.

It was loaded into a large container whose temperature was gradually lowered to -35 degrees Celsius (-31 Fahrenheit) over a 24-hour period before it was brought to the Mobilier National's labs in Paris. Now on display, the woollen tapestry -- 25 metres (82 feet) long and 7.35 metres wide -- stills shows traces of humidity and other stains, along with some moth damage and rips in the weave.

Yet the colourful cornucopias and vivid crowns of flowers based on a design by French painter Jacques-Louis de la Hamayde can still be seen, and technicians will now embark on months of restoration work. "We're doing this at no cost for the diocese -- it's important to show that as part of the national effort, an institution like ours can do its part," Lemoine said.

After its first public display at the Louvre museum in 1838, the tapestry was brought to Notre-Dame in 1843 for the coronation of Napoleon III. Since then it has been displayed only rarely: during a visit by the Tsar Nicolas II, the country's first televised mass in 1948, or the first visit by pope Jean Paul II to the cathedral in 1980.

The public will have a chance to see it during an open house at the Mobilier National during the European Heritage Days on September 21-22. (AFP) PMS PMS



Post-COVID-19 Nigeria needs a robust Health Management Information System to handle high disease burden

Nigeria is among a few countries that conceptualised a health management information system HMIS in the early 90s but implementation has been a challenge till date. Besides COVID-19, the country has a huge burden of communicable and non-com...

Morocco COVID-19 response: A fragile health system and the deteriorating situation

Learning from its European neighbors, Morocco imposed drastic measures from the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak to try to contain its spread. The strategy worked for a few months but the cases have surged after mid-June. In this sit...

COVID-19: Argentina’s health system inefficiencies exaggerate flaws of health information system

You can recover from a drop in the GDP, but you cant recover from death, was the straightforward mindset of Argentinas President Alberto Fernndez and defined the countrys response to COVID-19. The South American nation imposed a strict...


Latest News

Basil Eidenbenz to play Eskel in 'The Witcher' in S2 after Thue Ersted Rasmussen's exit

Swiss actor Basil Eidenbenz, best known for his roles in the UK series Victoria and The Athena, is stepping in to play Eskel in the second season of the Netflix series The Witcher after Thue Ersted Rasmussen left the show. Danish actor Rasm...

Had we followed Mahatma Gandhi's economic philosophy, 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' campaign would not have been needed today: PM.

Had we followed Mahatma Gandhis economic philosophy, Aatmanirbhar Bharat campaign would not have been needed today PM....

China's foreign minister may visit Japan as early as October - source

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi may visit Japan as early as October, a government source said on Sunday, after the leaders of the two countries agreed to pursue high-level contacts to promote regional and international stability.Wang would...

COVID-19: Homemade masks release fibres into air, important to wash them, say scientists

While surgical and N95 masks cut down the amount of aerosolized particles emitted during breathing, talking and coughing, scientists say in the case of homemade cloth face coverings, the fabric which traps the droplets may release a large a...

Give Feedback