Notre-Dame's crypt reopens after 18 months with Victor Hugo exhibition
The crypt of Notre-Dame de Paris has reopened with an exhibition paying homage to writer Victor Hugo and architect Eugene Viollet-Le-Duc and their role in the resurrection of the cathedral in the 19th century.
The site is the first part of the wider cathedral complex to reopen since the devastating fire of April 15, 2019. The crypt wasn't damaged but the blaze gutted the interior of Notre-Dame and toppled its famous spire.
But it suffered from severe toxic lead-dust fallout after the fire and the entire site had to be decontaminated.
"In order to decontaminate the crypt we had to decontaminate the forefront of the cathedral as well and it took a long time because we had to repeat the operation several times. Every time we thought it had worked, and in fact no, it hadn't. So, decontamination, then the pandemic, it took a long time. Actually, this exhibition was ready one year ago." Anne de Moudenard, chief curator of the exhibition told AP.
Visitors to the crypt can discover the remains of Gallo-Roman fortifications and thermal baths there, but the exhibition Notre-Dame de Paris from Victor Hugo to Eugène Viollet-le-Duc tells a more recent story; of the cathedral's comeback from abandonment to the celebrated monument it is today.