It was almost dinner time of the 15th April of the 2019 when from the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris started to arise the fire. We had to wait until the following morning to claim the fire ended and to start to count the damages.
The cathedral that resisted almost a millennium won’t be any more like before. However there is something that they didn’t have in the XII – XIV: the modern technologies.
Thanks to the them it’s possible to rebuilt every single beam exactly like it was. But where are stored those detailed informations of the structure? If you believe it or not those are in a videogame: Assassin’s Creed.
Notre Dame de Paris
It was the 1160 when the new bishop of Paris, Maurice De Sully, started the realization of a new and larger cathedral, where at that age there were a five naves cathedral dedicated to Saint Stefano.
In the 1250 the current building were completed, but until the middle of the XIV century the work went on, until to reach the wanted aspect, the one that everyone know today.
The metropolitan cathedral of Notre Dame (Our Lady) is in the heart of the france capital and it is the main religious place, as well as between the main tourist attraction of the whole France. It is one of the main gotich building in the world and a real picture on the past.
At 18:20 of the 5th April of the 2019 the first fire allarm says that there is something wrong. However, after the control procedured, nothing were found and, devoted and tourists, just evacuated, were allowed to come back in the building.
But at 18:43 was found out that the allarm wasn’t wrong: a worker finds out the fire on the frame.
The building is evacuated again and after fifteen minutes the firemen arrived. Though, they can’t do nothing to put out the fire which is eating the roof.
At 19:50, one hour and half after the first allarm, the whole world becomes aware about what is happening in Notre Dame.
Six hundreds firemen worked the whole night to keep under control the fire. At 9:50 of the 16th April the fire is officially off.
The roof and the fleche are completely lost in the fire, by collapsing on the volta and on the central naves, which had further damages.
Repair the damages
The lost under the cultural and artistic point of view is massive. A good of humanity which won’t never come back to the ancient greatness. However they will try everything.
Many wanted to give their support with donations and the France wants to start the repair work soon. However the biggest problem is to rebuilt every detail in the same identical way.
It could be useful a virtual model realized to the image and likeness under the smallest tile of the smallest spire. Where could be stored such important documents?
The only way to save Notre Dame seems to be a videogame: Assassin’s Creed.
The support of Ubisoft
As well as many others in the world even Ubisoft made its donation to support the rebuilding costs: 500 thousand euros. It couldn’t be otherwise, due that the france cathedral appears in all its greatness in one of its videogames’ masterpiece.
About it, to push its fan to give their support too, Ubisoft released the PC version of Assassin’s Creed Unity, the chapter settled in Paris, for free.
But that’s not all, the images of the cathedral in the videogame seem to be the real hidden treasure. The biggest support that Ubisoft can give to the cathedral is nothing more that the videogame itself.
Assassin’s Creed Unity was released in the 2014 and it settled in the france capital of the XVIII century, during the france revolution. But the strong point of this videogame were right the environments.
The city of Paris was rebuilt scaled 1:1, with all the most important monuments and in the most realistic way.
Notre Dame in Assassin’s Creed
Every corner of the city were rebuilt as well as it was in the XVIII century, with a specific attention for the cathedral of Notre Dame.
To realize this digital version of one of the most famous cathedral in the world was the artist Caroline Miousse. She worked for two years for its realization, by speaking with many historicals about how it exaclty was in that age.
But there is something more. Miousse confessed that she wanted to take some creative freedoms. For example, in the digital version she added right the spire collapsed in the fire, that in the XVIII century didn’t exist yet.
The artist claimed that, even though the videogame wanted to represent exactly the old Paris, there were some elements which entered in the human imaginary that can’t be changed.
No one nowadays knows how the cathedral appeared at that time and she didn’t think was correct to represent it without a piece.
If Miousse didn’t take this creative freedom would not exist any reference about that spire collasped in the fire and would not exist people in the world or any other document that know exaclty how to reproduce it.
The final version of the game, anyway, was adapted for the gameplay, by adding on the cathedral handles and ways to make the parkour, the driving element of the whole saga.
By the way, in the Ubisoft’s archives would be left the original models, which seem to be the most accurate in the world.
This post is also available in: Italiano