Jun 16, 2019 | Updated: 11:54 AM EDT

Historian's Hobby Plus Famous Game's 3D Model Could Help Rebuild Notre Dame

Apr 17, 2019 03:48 PM EDT

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3D Model of Notre Dame
(Photo : National Geographic)
3D Model of Notre Dame Cathedral (Screenshot taken from video "Laser Scanning Reveals Cathedral’s Mysteries | National Geographic"


On Monday, April 16, the whole world lamented a huge loss as Paris' famed historic cathedral, Notre Dame was engulfed in flames. The devastating news has raised a spectrum of mixed emotions from people. While some expressed deep sympathy and some have come up with conspiracy theories, there are also people who are optimistic about the implications of the fire.

Some have pointed out that the event has exposed that the then structure of the landmark was a fire hazard, which further supports the need to rebuild. The 12th-century wooden roof beams were clearly no longer fit to resist such an unexpected disaster.

Also, since the cathedral was actually undergoing some renovation works, most of the historic artifacts have been removed from the cathedral just a few days before the fire. Still, some are speculating that the fire could have been associated with the said renovation.

The vigilance of 400 French firefighters has been the key to saving some artifacts such as the Holy Crown of Thorns and the sacred tunic that 13th century French King Louis had worn. President Emmanuel Marcon commended the firefighters, thanking them on the whole nation's behalf for their extreme courage.

The fire also opened the possibility for better structures to be retrofitted into the historic cathedral as it was reconstructed in the early 19th century, resulting in a (then) new taller and more ornate spire.

As the rebuilding of the Notre Dame Cathedral is expected to be at a very high cost, donations started to pour in from different sources. Some from the richest citizens and corporations of France. Donations have now reached nearly $1 billion. The influx of donations has proven that people from all over the world could work together for a single goal.

Rebuilding the 850-year-old historic landmark would mean boarding up the Notre Dame for about five to six years, according to the priest in charge. Fortunately, the ornate French Gothic Cathedral was documented in detail by two sources that could be the key to rebuilding the cathedral successfully.

The first source is Andrew Tallon's immaculately accurate model which was generated through the use of laser scanners and still photography. Tallon is a Vassar College art professor and is also an architectural historian with a passion for the structure of Notre Dame.

The other source is the game Assassin's Creed: Unity which has a precise model of the landmark as completed by Caroline Miousse for two years. Both models could be integral in getting the Notre Dame Cathedral back up.

One of the top European Union communications officials stated after the fire that digitization is one important method in preservation. 

An international architect's competition is being eyed as a way to rebuild the spire.

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