Notre Dame cross welcomed by Christian world

(Photo: Getty/iStock)

The reinstallation of the cross at Notre Dame Cathedral has been welcomed by Christians across the world.

The iconic cross at the apse of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, which remarkably survived the devastating fire of 2019, was reinstalled late last week following meticulous restoration efforts by skilled ironworkers from Normandy.

Measuring 12 metres and weighing 1.5 tonnes, this cross is a symbol of resilience and faith, being the only part of the choir roof that withstood the flames.

The reinstallation marks a significant milestone in the extensive restoration project that has engaged around 250 companies and hundreds of craftsmen, architects, and professionals. The collective aim is to reopen the cathedral by December this year.

The fire that struck on 15 April, 2019, caused catastrophic damage, including the collapse of Notre Dame's spire and part of its roof. Five years later, significant repairs have been achieved, notably with the reinstallation of the spire's lead-covered needle. Yet, much of the cathedral remains enveloped in scaffolding. The spire alone is surrounded by 70,000 pieces of scaffolding, weighing a total of 600 tonnes, indicating the immense scale and complexity of the restoration efforts.

Notre Dame Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a profound symbol of Christianity, once welcomed 12 million visitors annually. The fire was a severe blow, but the global community responded with overwhelming support, pledging over $1 billion for the rebuilding efforts. Investigations into the fire concluded that an electrical short circuit was the most likely cause.

The dedication and craftsmanship involved in restoring Notre Dame reflect a global commitment to preserving this historic Christian landmark for future generations.

As the restoration progresses, the reinstallation and raising of the cross will serve as a powerful reminder of faith, resilience and Christian renewal.