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Incredible moment huge oak beams are raised as Notre Dame rebuilt

Incredible photographs have immortalised the moment a crane hoisted gigantic oak trusses onto Notre Dame Cathedral, as the reconstruction of the Paris landmark ravaged by a fire continues.

The snaps depict the delicate operation carried out by huge cranes on Tuesday (July 11).

Given how challenging it was to smoothly move the trusses from a barge to the gothic cathedral, the effort attracted large crowds along a bridge crossing the Seine river and along its banks.

Among them was Jake, a tourist on holiday in Paris with his family who commented the operation telling the Guardian: “It’s amazing to see. What a fabulous building, even covered in scaffold.”

The spectacular moment was described as “magical” by Transport Minister Clement Beaune, who added the Parisian river will be at the centre of the Paris Olympics taking place next year.

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Each one of these trusses is 10 metres high and weighs between seven to seven and a half tonnes.

These intricated triangular structures are used to provide a framework to support the fabric of the roof area in which they will be fitted over the next few months.

These massive wooden structures have been hand-cut using the same kind of forged axes employed by medieval carpenters, in a bid to reconstruct the cathedral in a way as traditional as possible.

Another iconic part of the cathedral currently being reconstructed is its 96-metre-high spire, the fall of which marked one of the most vivid moments in the destruction of Notre Dame.

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The 850-year-old cathedral is expected to be fully restored by December next year.

The huge crowd expected to flock to the French capital between the end of July and mid-August next year for the Olympics won’t disrupt the work, Jean-Louis Georgelin, appointed by French President Emmanuel Macron to oversee Notre Dame’s reconstruction, pledged.

He said: “We will work for the cathedral during the Olympics in order to be ready in December 2024. This is our goal.”

Notre Dame, considered a world treasure by Unesco, was partially destroyed by flames in just minutes in April 2019.

Firefighters battled for 15 hours to stop the blaze reaching the wooden frame of the gothic towers on the west facade and prevent its historic bells and towers crumbling down.

Alongside the devastation created by the flames to the cathedral itself, a large swathe of central Paris was contaminated with lead dust from the building’s destroyed roof.

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