Ep 61: Technology and the Notre Dame Fire: with guest Dr. Stephen Murray

Notre Dame Cathedral Fire

On the evening of April 15th, the entire world watched with shock and horror as Notre Dame cathedral burned.  At the time, it was unclear how much of the cathedral would survive.  Now, with the roof and the iconic spire gone, how will it be rebuilt?  Today on the podcast we discuss why Notre Dame was built the way it was, technology and the Notre Dame fire, and how laser scans may help to rebuild.

Fires are not unheard of in cathedrals, and many have caught fire in the past.  This fire, however, was partially extinguished with cutting edge technology.  Firefighting robots helped to put out the blaze, while drones monitored the fire’s progress from above.  Now that our attention turns to rebuilding, new technologies may also be employed in the design and reconstruction.

Today on the podcast we are joined by Professor Stephen Murray.  Stephen is an expert in medieval architecture.  He taught for fifty years at Columbia University and Indiana Bloomington. Along with his knowledge of Gothic architecture, he also used lasers to map the interiors of cathedrals around Europe.  His late student, Andrew Tallon, mapped Notre Dame cathedral with these lasers.  Stephen talks about why Notre Dame was built the way it was and how it used the best technology of the day.  Some of this technology even helped protect the church from further damage in the fire.  We talk about technology and the Notre Dame fire, how the cathedral may be rebuilt, and how laser scans may be of help.

Background music you hear are clips from Paris, a recording by xserra of a priest singing with the organ in Nortre Dame café connection by morgantj feat. Morusque,  and the Egmont Overture and Gymnopedie No. 3 by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com).  All songs are licensed under CC by 3.0.

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