The restoration carried out in Germany, at the Gothic Cathedral of Cologne
The stained glass of the Cathedral of Notre Damebadly damaged in the fire of April 15, 2019, are ready to return to Paris after being restored in Germany, in the Gothic Cathedral of Cologne. According to a spokesman for the group of workers involved in the restoration, “the stained glass windows are ready to travel to the French capital after Easter”, although Barbara Schock-Werner, coordinator of the works in Cologne, kept a little broader on the timing, declaring that “the delivery of the new windows could take place at the end of July”. The restoration work of the stained glass windows is regarded as a symbol of the close cooperation between Germany and France.
The 2019 fire had completely destroyed the roof of the Parisian Cathedral and the so-called “cross” of the church had collapsed. French President Emmanuel Macron had promised immediately after the fire that the restoration of Notre-Dame would take place within 5 years. Armin Laschet, former prime minister of the German region of North Rhine-Westphalia, was the first to launch a fundraiser together with Germany’s UNESCO commission to find the necessary aid to complete the work and ensure cooperation between the two countries.
There were two most difficult challenges to face during the restoration work: removing the lead that had contaminated the windows, a job according to Schock-Werner that was “very tiring”, and eliminating soot and dirt avoiding damaging the representations. In some parts of the windows it was even necessary to completely replace them with other components of the same color, due to their excessive damage. “Works done with extreme care and in a very professional manner, also thanks to the coordination with Paris that was there at all times”, concluded Schock-Werner.