Notre Dame could be restored EXACTLY as it was thanks to 3D laser scanning

The world watched in shock on Monday when Notre Dame de Paris was devastated by a huge fire. The iconic spire and a large part of the cathedral’s roof was destroyed by the blaze as firefighters rushed to try to contain the blaze just before 7pm local time. The huge fire burned for eight hours and was largely extinguished in the early hours of Tuesday morning, but the damage was already done.

However, the great cathedral could be restored precisely to its former glory thanks to 3D laser scanning which was carried out in 2015.

In 2015, the late architect Andrew Tallon – who died towards the end of last year after a bout of brain cancer, aged just 49 – used more than one billion points of data to create an accurate digital structure of the 850-year old cathedral.

The technique, which was subject to a documentary from National Geographic at the time, Mr Tallon placed mounted lasers in 50 locations in and around the cathedral.

The lasers then scanned the area, and when a beam hit a surface it would bounce back, recording an exact placement of each structure.

Mr Tallon said at the time: “I like to think that this laser scanning work and even some of the conventional scholarship I do is informed by that important world of spirituality.

“It’s such a beautiful idea.”

Now, researchers could be able to use the data to reconstruct Notre Dame to its former glory.

Robert Bork, an architectural historian at the University of Iowa, told Wired: “Every time they have a cathedral that needs restoration and tender loving care, there’s the question of, do you make it Disneyland, or do you let it decay?

“In this case, God willing, the cathedral will have some of its original structure left, and they’ll put it back as best as they can.”

The cause of the fire at Paris’ landmark Notre Dame Cathedral is still not known and authorities are continuing their probe into how it started, French junior interior minister Laurent Nunez said on Tuesday.

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