At 8 pm Paris time, tonight, April 15, the south tower bell, “Emmanuel”, will ring at Notre-Dame de Paris. It is one year since the fire April 15, 2019. General Jean-Louis Georgelin, in charge of the cathedral’s restoration, decided on this time, which coincides with the evening applause for health care workers during the Covid-19.
Walking along the narrow rue Galand the sound of a muffled bell ringing reverberated against the walls. Sitting at the café, looking at my watch, it was around 11:20 on a Monday morning. My friend guessed it was a church nearby; I guessed Notre-Dame. Couldn't be.... perhaps the towers were damaged. The constant soft ringing was not signalling the quarter, half or full hour. Earlier I had heard on French television the time for the funeral ceremony that would pass from Hôtel des Invalides to Saint-Sulpice. We walked toward Notre-Dame from where the mystery sound originated. Emmanuel, the 300 year old was ringing. The ringing was manually orchestrated. The first…