Experts note that, unlike 3D images, any preserved historical drawings and drawings will not be complete and do not reflect the real state of the Cathedral before the fire.
American Professor and historian of architecture Andrew Tallon, who died in November 2018, managed to create an accurate virtual 3D model of Notre Dame Cathedral, which can be used to restore this monument now.
Professor Tallon devoted his life to the study of medieval architecture, and he tried to use the most modern methods. “When you study medieval buildings, it seems that nothing new can be said, and this is the difficulty. It was studied, written about it for many years,” he said in the documentary National Geographic in 2015. “So I’m using more advanced technology to try and get new answers now,” he said.
“Digitization” of the Cathedral Tallon together with his colleague Paul Blair held with a special laser 3D-scanner. The device, which during the filming was installed in a total of 50 different points, periodically moving, noted literally every millimeter of the inner and outer surface of the Cathedral. Following the results of five days of work, the volume “map” consisting of more than 1 billion separate points was made. It was overlaid with photographs of various parts of the building, taken in high resolution. As a result, experts have created an almost exact virtual copy of this structure.
During this time, Tallon toured the entire Cathedral of Notre Dame: he visited the vaults – in the space under the roof, burned down during a fire last Monday. The information that specialists managed to gather in 2010 will be invaluable for the restorers who will be engaged in the reconstruction of the Cathedral, according to colleagues of Tallon.
The 3D model of Tallon after its creation was placed on the hard drive and occupies a total of about 1 terabyte. For this reason, it was not posted on the Internet: the file is too large. Unfortunately, it is not known where the disc is located yet. Some of Tallon’s former colleagues believe it stayed with one of his students. Others believe it’s at the house of Professor’s widow.