New photos from inside the Notre Dame cathedral show the daunting task ahead to restore the 800-year-old Gothic Cathedral.
Huge mountains of rubble and beams from the charred spire remain where they fell one month after fire destroyed the roof of the beloved Paris monument on April 15, while sunlight streams in through massive holes where a roof used to be.
Giant nets have been installed to catch falling debris and protect workers using robots to the remove rubble which will be examined by police seeking clues about how the fire began.
French Culture Minister Franck Riester on Wednesday said the building was still being made safe enough for restoration work to begin.
Wearing hard hats, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was given a tour of the scene on Wednesday alongside Riester and Notre Dame cathedral rector Patrick Chauvet, who appeared grief-stricken as he surveyed the damage.
The cathedral — which was visited by up to 14 million people a year — remains closed and under police guard.
Trudeau was one of the first officials allowed to see inside the site and told Associated Press he wanted to show Canadians’ solidarity “toward our French cousins.”
Workers must wear protective suits and masks and regularly take blood tests to test lead exposure after 400 tones of the toxic material was melted in the blaze, ABC News reported.
Lead levels at the site were between 32 and 65 times the recommended limit by French health authorities in the days after the fire.
Fundraising efforts to rebuild the church, which was undergoing much-needed renovations at the time of the blaze, have topped $1 billion.
French President Emmanuel Macron promised that the cathedral would be rebuilt within five years but architects told the LA Times it may take decades.
French investigators believe an electrical short-circuit was most likely behind the massive blaze.