Notre Dame interview

A Chinese media source has reported an interview with a retired architect and engineer who worked on Notre Dame over three decades. According to my translator he thought that the electrical system and surveillance in the building were too good to fail and he can’t understood how the oak planks burned to rapidly. A regulator steps up to demand more regulation of historic sites. Never waste a good disaster. Interview with subtitles.

UPDATE. Owners of English homes offer oak trees to help.

And just in case you were wondering, from the same source, the ups and downs of living in a castle.

This entry was posted in International, Rafe. Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Notre Dame interview

  1. Wow.

    China, Russia and Noam Chomsky are more credible than our “trusted news peoples”.

  2. Dr Fred Lenin

    What would the guy who worked there know ? Not nearly as much as the informed appeasers of islam isnt that right ? Hes only an architect and expert on old buildings ,we are trained propagandist globalists .

  3. Rafe Champion

    My translator said the Chinese commentary included a suggestion of arson with accelerant but the engineer on the youtube report was very careful to avoid any inflammatory (sorry) suggestions.

  4. mh

    Considering the attacks on churches in France averaged 2 per day during 2018, I think it is reasonable to suspect foul play.

    The attacks on Christian churches in China by the State would be equally appalling.

  5. Roger

    Conflicting assessments by experts are about – others point out there was no sprinkler system nor any firewalls in the timber attic and the medieval oak beams were “tinder dry”. Thus “the forest” indeed burned like a forest.

  6. What would always raise suspicions is that the state prosecutor (I think it was), while the Notre Dame was still burning, immediately said that it wasn’t arson. How could they know until fire investigators had completed their assessment after the fire was out? They were very quick to to jump to this conclusion.

    PJW had his usual take on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B64XVAiK-9U&feature=youtu.be.

  7. Roger

    What would always raise suspicions is that the state prosecutor (I think it was), while the Notre Dame was still burning, immediately said that it wasn’t arson.

    Oft times subtleties are lost in translation.

    Quizzed by reporters as to the possibility of arson, he responded that there was nothing to suggest it was a voluntary act, therefore they favoured the hypothesis of an accidental fire, but 50 investigators had been assigned to determine the cause.

  8. Forest Stylist

    Trees cut 1000 years ago would on average be more dense than those cut now although ones grown in the medieval warming period may have lower density (due to higher growth rates with longer growing seasons).
    Higher density wood especially in large section is much less flammable than low density wood but once it gets going they will all burn >900deg C.
    Despite the beams having low moisture content they would be unlikely to burn like tinder especially to begin with.

  9. sfw

    When a historic building catches fire whilst renovations are underway it’s usually accidental or carelessness.
    It’s hard to tell but it seems the seat of the fire was in the roof structure where the work was to be done.
    Old timber no matter how dense it is will be extremely dry.
    The roof angle was very steep.
    So we have some source of ignition, probably electrical, it starts a small fire at the base of the roof rafters, the steep angle and dry wood means the once enough heat is generated the fire will climb the rafter and spread rapidly. Almost impossible to extinguish once it gets going.

    This from The Canberra Times “The first fire alarm went off at 6.20pm, 25 minutes before the cathedral closed to visitors for the day. At 6.43pm, another alarm rang and, when staff returned to the attic, they found it well alight.”
    A bit vague but if true it seems that an alarm at 6.20 pm was either ignored and reset or was insufficiently investigated. Either way by the time of the next alarm (23 minutes) the fire had grown enough to take hold.
    Whilst there have been a lot of deliberate church fires in France of late if you look at them the fires are set at ground level, I can’t see any Moslem being energetic or clever enough to carry his matches and accelerant up into the roof space to set a fire. Lot easier to start one in the main body of the church.

  10. Roger

    Can someone please translate this French news item

    It’s an account by a stonemason who worked on historical sites in Paris, including Notre Dame, of trouble with immigrant labourers, in particular a Malian who attacked him.

  11. Roger

    A bit vague but if true it seems that an alarm at 6.20 pm was either ignored and reset or was insufficiently investigated.

    The security guard was reportedly sent up to the attic by the fireman (the 24/7 two man team mentioned in the clip specifically charged with monitoring the fire alarm system), no doubt with directions as to where to look provided by the alarm’s location, but clearly missed something. No doubt he will be a focus of the investigation.

  12. Roger

    Must go, roast lamb and a post-prandial nap await.

  13. MikeS

    “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

    I don’t know either (obviously) but have heard of many fires started carelessly by angle grinders and welding gear aimed the wrong way. Stupidity includes not undertaking the repairs sooner, finishing them swiftly or not having some non-drongos (with fire extinguishers) standing guard.

    PS. My brother in law says he has a hunch that Quasimodo may have been responsible.

  14. This is what happens when you import artisans from Algeria or Morocco to work on your cathedrals……Just sayin’

  15. vicki

    https://www.newsweek.com/spate-attacks-catholic-churches-france-sees-altars-desecrat

    Our local media don’t seem to be aware of the recent attacks on Catholic Churches in France.

  16. Our local media don’t seem to be aware of the recent attacks on Catholic Churches in France.

    If you don’t mention it, it didn’t happen.

  17. Cementafriend

    Forest S, I agree. Oak is very dense and hard to light. In Oz some timbers like iron bark and the red gum for sleepers turn to char in hot fires but are very hard to light certainly not from sparks from tools or even a short circuit from wiring. Softwood like pine is another matter. Mr Mouton in the video is right fire retardants will not be aborbed by oak.

  18. Leo G

    Notre Dam restoration work involved the temporary removal of decorative copper features serving as lightning rods on the roof, and that removal had been completed only days before the fire.
    What if …

  19. P

    The last choir music in Notre-Dame Cathedral, before the fire.

    Stabat Mater – Communion song during Palm Sunday 2019, less than a day before the fire started.

  20. And it would almost have been better off had it completely burnt to the ground, should any of these suggestions come to fruition: https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2019/04/20/modern-architects-want-glass-roof-steel-spire-minaret-notre-dame/.

  21. Fisky

    I’m noticing a lot of chatter from the Left about the importance of not rebuilding the Notre Dame as it previously looked, because 21st Century or something.

  22. Roger

    And it would almost have been better off had it completely burnt to the ground, should any of these suggestions come to fruition

    Word is Harry Triguboff already has an entry in.

    His plan is to put luxury apartments in the roof space, to be known as ‘Quasimodo’s Lair by Meriton’.

    “5 years? Pfft. I’ll have the job done in 5 months, President Macron.”

  23. John A

    Fisky #2993849, posted on April 21, 2019, at 5:08 pm

    I’m noticing a lot of chatter from the Left about the importance of not rebuilding the Notre Dame as it previously looked, because 21st Century or something.

    Mr Gilbert to the rescue (The Mikado)
    From Koko’s song “Little List” of society offenders who might well be underground:
    Then the idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone,
    All centuries but this, and every country but his own;

  24. Rabid Koala

    Meanwhile in Sri Lanka some churches have undergone renovation accidents too

  25. Rabid Koala

    The security guard was reportedly sent up to the attic by the fireman (the 24/7 two man team mentioned in the clip specifically charged with monitoring the fire alarm system), no doubt with directions as to where to look provided by the alarm’s location, but clearly missed something. No doubt he will be a focus of the investigation.

    If the sec urity industry in Fra nce is anything like Australia his name is Moh ammed and he is totally not connected to the local organ ised crime

  26. sfw

    In Victoria it is the responsibility of the Officer in Charge of the attending brigade to investigate. You never take the word of the staff that ‘everything is ok’ you always go and have a good look (and smell) yourself.

  27. 132andBush

    If it’s as reported it’s an unbelievable abrogation of responsibility by the firepersons.

  28. cuckoo

    Intrigued by this detail about the oak beams for rebuilding Notre Dame. Of course there were immediately nay-sayers proclaiming that there are no longer oak trees big enough to provide sufficiently large beams. Funny thing is, people said exactly the same thing to the legendary cathedral builder Abbot Suger (1081-1151) who promptly took horse and men, rode into the forests and began selecting trees of the right size. Among the various voxpops of Parisians was one man confident that the large oaks would be found in French forests. Now this wonderful news from England.

  29. Mark M

    Week 23, PARIS — French yellow vest protesters set fires along a march route through Paris on Saturday to drive home their message to a government they see as out of touch with the problems of the poor: that rebuilding the fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral isn’t the only problem France needs to solve.

    Like the high-visibility vests the protesters wear, the scattered small fires in Paris appeared to be a collective plea to the government to “look at me — I need help too!”

    http://time.com/5574605/paris-yellow-vest-notre-dame-mourning/

  30. DaveR

    I have never been a conspiracy theorist, but now I can see how they are created. Things to consider:

    1. As mentioned above, even before the flames were out the French government announced the cause of the fire was an electrical fault. How is that conclusion even remotely possible at that time?

    2. Immediately after the fire, security (including armed military) was dramatically increased on other major Christian landmarks around France including Sacre Coeur and Reims cathedral (source: Figaro). Was the French government expecting an outbreak of electrical faults in these locations as well?

    3. According to French sources (leaked), all of the CCTV footage around Notre Dame has been seized by the French security services. Perhaps this is just normal, reasonable actions?

  31. Rex Mango

    No need for oak. Chartres Cathedral which is bigger and better example of French Gothic had iron framed ceiling installed in 1841 and been fire proof ever since. Successive French Governments have been derelict in their duty for decades by not doing the same for Notre Dame of Paris.

  32. Roger W

    ABC reporting the Sri Lankan massacres as terrorist inspired and by religious extremists. You have to read down about two thirds of the way before you discover these are Islamic extremists. SBS devoted about the first 15 minutes of every 6.30pm news broadcast to the horrors of the Christchurch killings for over a week. Wonder if the killing of four times as many Christians will prompt the same coverage?

  33. MJ

    It’s all fake news. Real cause was Quasimodo smoking in bed again!

  34. Forest Stylist

    Cuckoo
    Agreed if you look hard enough, the trees will be there. The issue will be log length rather than diameter as the spans could be large. Modern lamination of smaller sections and newer sawing techniques (eg heart in) can overcome these problems.

  35. Roger

    I have never been a conspiracy theorist, but now I can see how they are created. ..As mentioned above, even before the flames were out the French government announced the cause of the fire was an electrical fault. How is that conclusion even remotely possible at that time?

    I addressed this up thread:

    “Quizzed by reporters as to the possibility of arson, [the lead prosecutor] responded that there was nothing to suggest it was a voluntary act, therefore they favoured the hypothesis of an accidental fire, but 50 investigators had been assigned to determine the cause.”

    It was an off the cuff remark in a press conference, not an official announcement.

  36. Infidel Tiger

    There are centuries old oak forests in Sweden that were planted for future wooden ships. Of course wooden ship building went out of fashion before they were mature. They would be perfect.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/wrathofgnon/status/1118043678826618880

    Wrath of Gnon has much more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.