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Notre Dame Pipe Organ Undergoes 4-Year Cleaning Project

August 4, 2020

No doubt you’ve has some cleaning projects that took all day or maybe all week. But how about four years?

The cleaning process for the pipe organ in Notre Dame Cathedral began yesterday and is expected to last almost four years, the Associated Press reports.

The 8,000-pipe organ survived the April 2019 fire, which consumed the cathedral’s roof and toppled its spire. But the blaze coated the instrument in toxic lead dust that must now be painstakingly removed. The instrument also suffered damage from a record heatwave last summer as it has been exposed to the elements since the cathedral lost its roof.

The cleaning process will be lengthy as restoration exports must take out and clean the pipes one by one. Once restored, it will take six months just to tune the organ.

French President Emmanuel Macron hopes the cathedral can reopen in time for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. But it’s taken more than a year to clear out dangerous lead residue and scaffolding that had been in place before the fire for a previous renovation effort. Restoration of the landmark cathedral has yet to begin.

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