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The gargoyles of the Notre-Dame de Paris are coming back to life

A gargoyle of the Notre Dame Cathedral is seen on July 8, 2014 in Paris.
A gargoyle of the Notre Dame Cathedral is seen on July 8, 2014 in Paris. Copyright PABLO PORCIUNCULA / AFP
Copyright PABLO PORCIUNCULA / AFP
By Doloresz Katanich with EBU
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Notre-Dame de Paris reconstructions gradually recover its fantastic creatures.

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The famous gargoyles of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral are soon going to be perfectly restored. The last stage of the restoration in progress.

Strange and grimacing creatures - gargoyles and chimeras - are part of the soul of the cathedral, a 12th-century masterpiece of Gothic art. Guardians of the building, they were supposed to protect the cathedral from the wrath of heaven.

Gargoyles are also vital to the structure of Notre Dame, serving as part of the water drainage system, built in the Middle Ages.

But some of these fantastic animals did not survive the catastrophic fire in 2019.

Now, they are brought back to life by a team of sculptors who have picked up the mantle (and the scalpels) and started working on recreating one by one these centuries-old creatures in clay, based on photos.

A dozen sculptors are working on this exceptional project. From the ornaments around the rose window to the foliage decorations, everything has to be redone identically. Each piece takes at least three weeks to complete.

The reconstruction of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral is on track to allow it to reopen to the public at the end of 2024.

Watch the video above to see how the sculptors are working on this impressive and daunting project.

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