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The role of scientific research in Notre-Dame restoration

Hearing of Loic Bertrand by the French Parliament

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The Parliamentary Office for the Assessment of Scientific Choices (OPESCT) organised a public hearing on Thursday 23 May on the role that science should play in the Notre-Dame-de-Paris restoration project. Loïc Bertrand, Director of IPANEMA, spoke at a round table discussion on the role of scientific research. The event was broadcast live on the Senate website.

The first round table, chaired by Gérard Longuet, Senator and President of OPECST, was devoted to the role of science in the restoration of the cathedral. Jean-François Lagneau (ICOMOS) and Pascal Mignerey, Honorary President of the Conference of Regional Conservators of Monuments Historiques, recalled the genesis of the French heritage policy. Cécile Ullmann, conservator of Monuments Historiques, stressed the importance of science in documenting the restoration project, understanding pathologies, defining restoration protocols, monitoring the restoration itself and disseminating knowledge. Science is thus a necessary condition for the success of a restoration project. Describing the measures already implemented to face an emergency situation, Pascal Brunet, Chief Architect of Monuments Historiques, explained that the disaster that struck Notre-Dame could prove to be a tremendous opportunity to improve our knowledge of the site. In this respect, Philippe Dillmann and Martine Regert (CNRS) stressed the importance of interdisciplinarity. Aline Magnien (LRMH) explained the role of her laboratory in the restoration process.

The second round table, chaired by Cédric Villani, Deputy and Vice-President of OPECST, focused on the place research should have in this restoration project. It brought together Arnaud Ybert, President of the Association des scientifiques au service de la restauration de Notre-Dame de Paris, Livio De Luca (MAP), Maxime L’Héritier (Université Paris 8), Mr. Yves Malier (Académie des technologies), Lise Leroux (LRMH), Bernard Thibaut (LMGC) and Loïc Bertrand (IPANEMA).

The Director of IPANEMA and Scientific Director of E-RIHS during the Preparatory Phase presented the possible applications of the synchrotron technology in the restoration of Notre-Dame. He mentioned the budget adopted by the DIM "Ancient Materials" of the Île-de-France Region following the disaster to finance dedicated research activities. Reminding the leading role played by France and Europe in the field of heritage sciences, he mentionned the Declaration "Heritage, Science and Technology : An Opportunity for Our Societies and the World Economy" which was adopted in Paris on 15 February 2019. He eventually called on decision-makers to support the adoption of an ambitious budget to finance European heritage research, and avocated for a genuine research force to be coordinated at European level, through the E-RIHS infrastructure.

Read the full speech.

The programme and the video are available on the Senate website.

Voir en ligne : Science and technology in support of the restoration of Notre-Dame de Paris