Jonathan Foyle, Twitter, Christopher Spencer discussed on The Art Newspaper Weekly


Yeah. These people put Costes brought to you in association with Bonhams auctioneers since seventeen ninety three to find out more visit bombs dot com. Hello. It's the art newspaper coast. I'm Ben, Luke. Thanks for joining us later in the cost. I talked to Christopher Spencer. The man behind this tirico images that are taken Twitter by storm over the past couple of years under the name, Cold War. Steve capturing perhaps more acutely than anyone else. The madness of Britain in the Brexit era. But I this week. There's no doubt what the big cultural stories the fire not Dom in Paris, which United many of us in despair at what appeared at one stage to the destruction of one of the world's greatest monuments to human civilization. It turns out, of course, that much of the building was Mercifully saved. Jonathan Foyle is an architectural historian writer and broadcaster. He's a former curator of historic buildings at the historic role. Palacio the UK and has written books on England's greatest gothic buildings including the cathedrals in Canterbury and Lincoln Jonathan joins me on the line. Now Jonathan we were all in varying states of despair on on Monday night. It seems like it's not as bad as we at least one. In point were fearing is that your assessment. Of course, the first impression is one of two chaos, and destruction and despair. And of course, you can't predict the outcome with a with a fire that big in that fierce one tends to anticipate the worst with a large building like that. It's a very complex picture. We can look back on other examples of major buildings that suffered FIS like Windsor Castle in nineteen Ninety-three. And of course, we're out the other end of that. And we can see the silver lining of archaeology. We can see new design and new chapter life at Windsor. But the point of damage to what extent it is a wound or whether it's crates the entire collapse of the building. Of course, you cannot anticipate that and frankly, it's still too early to say what the extent of the damage is. We tend to think the next morning when the smoke clears all the wiser. But in fact, that's when the. Alice's starts to begin. Indeed. So what do we know at this point? What what damage you? Are. We certain has been done. Okay. Well, it's again to Hobbs with great buildings like this we've seen numerous cathedral fires in the twentieth. Century through war, the roof rigs ample Reims cathedral was lost during the first World War. So we have seen the complete loss of volts coming crashing down into Checchi's wool still stand in the reconstruction of votes in the refurnishing of those churches is part of the story of the twentieth century. We've seen for example, utter destruction places like Coventry where a new building has replaced the shell. Now in this case what we're looking at with gothic buildings is something quite new because this is not bombing an Tillery fire as seen in the twentieth century. It is a fire on the. The roof which is a forest of timber in the French coast cool at Ruth the forest and when limestone reaches temperatures of something above nine hundred celsius. It's does to Kelsen. This is where the complications come in. Because the damage is immediately obvious the council nation is the chemical change of limestone that he begins to change to kind of powder. Basically, the constituent of mortar. Now, there's another issue, and that is intense heat on volt which seems to be the savior of this of this thing seems to protected much of the interior of of Notre dumb will actually when you subject a volts like that too intense hate and then pump thousands of gallons of cold water on it. You can end up with a lot of heat fracture. And of course, then there's a long cooling down process from such temperature take several days to cool down. And it's in that time. That one shouldn't be surprised to find further volt collapses. In fact, that's what happened when the fire was out still smoldering, that's when the crossing of volt seemed to fall in. And of course, we know that they're they're other holes where the volt Webb has collapsed. It may not be the end of it. Because the process of the building cooling down settling again and trying to rebalance those stresses is an ongoing issue, and in particular, that's the case with these giant gothic buildings because they are in engineering terms their network of captain equillibrium, the cage like structure is close to home together. Because the way to those volts pushing outwards counted by the flying buttresses pushing the weight in to create an eco Librium forces now when you take away half of the weight than the other half wants to push in into the void. And that's. No doubt part of the equation that structural engineers having to wrestle with. What is the effect for the first time ever of the loss of weight from those volt webs having disappeared? What does that do to the full season the outside of the building pushing in? So what I'm saying is yes, we've seen destruction before, but the destruction hasn't ended yet not until the building settled down and until structurally in engineering terms, it stabilized Oviously like any very oh building to dumb has been through

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