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Insurers expect France to bear Notre-Dame rebuilding cost

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Insurers expect France to bear Notre-Dame rebuilding cost

By Noor Zainab Hussain and Paul Arnold

 

2019-04-16T151826Z_1_LYNXNPEF3F13Y_RTROPTP_3_FRANCE-NOTREDAME.JPG

Firefighters spray water on Notre-Dame Cathedral after a massive fire devastated large parts of the gothic gem in Paris, France April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

 

(Reuters) - Major European insurers expect France to bear the bulk of the cost of rebuilding the Notre-Dame Cathedral after a fire tore through the eight-centuries-old Paris landmark on Monday.

 

The cost of a likely multi-year restoration project could itself take a year to become clear, industry experts said.

 

"It is really going to be up to the French state and benefactors to help to restore and rebuild this," Robert Read, head of art and private client at Lloyd's of London insurer Hiscox told Reuters, adding it could take up to 20 years to restore the cathedral.

 

"The scaffolding costs are going to be enormous, actually securing the building is going to be enormous. The cost of renovating the (British) Parliament is a similar sort of number," Read said.

 

The cost of repairs and upgrades to the neo-Gothic fronted parliament building on the banks of the River Thames has been estimated at up to $8 billion.

 

French President Emmanuel Macron has said France would launch a fundraising campaign to rebuild Notre-Dame, which ranks among the finest examples of French Gothic cathedral architecture.

 

Several of France's business elite have already pledged money to help, including a 200 million euros ($226 million)donation from Bernard Arnault and 100 million from Francois Pinault, heads of luxury goods groups LVMH and Kering respectively.

 

"Rebuilding would be very tricky as some of the craft required to rebuild, the stone-masonry craft would probably have to be relearnt," Hiscox's Read said.

 

Reinsurer Swiss Re said works of art in buildings such as the cathedral are generally not insured because they are often priceless. Any art works on loan from third parties would, however, be insured, Read added.

 

While some of the large paintings at Notre-Dame could not be taken down in time, the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, said at the scene of the fire that a number of the many artworks in the cathedral had been rescued and were being put in safe storage.

 

Notre-Dame was in the midst of renovations and industry sources said the contractor would have its own liability policy.

 

"Typically that would be for tens of millions of euros. But effectively that is going to be a drop in the ocean compared to what the actual cost of restoring the cathedral is," Read said.

 

"If they are deemed to be liable they would be carrying some cover, but it's not unlimited and it's definitely not going to be enough to rebuild the Cathedral."

($1 = 0.8848 euros)

 

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Paul Arnold in Zurich; Additional reporting by Inti Landauro in Paris; Editing by David Holmes)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-04-17

 

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1 hour ago, webfact said:

Major European insurers expect France to bear the bulk of the cost of rebuilding the Notre-Dame Cathedral

Quelle surprise. 

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27 minutes ago, Bluespunk said:

Quelle surprise. 

Since it was not insured, of course.

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Its a French building on French soil and a French problem if they want to put it back together with a French forest is it not🤔

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20 minutes ago, Ulic said:

Here I was thinking a couple of billion but I see the estimate at 8 billion and 20 year job security for stone mason artisans. Glad my parents took me to see it in my youth. 

On a European backpacking tour in 1995, I set aside a day to visit the cathedral.

When I arrived it was closed and there were soldiers marching in parade and official ceremonies being conducted in front of the building.

I had inadvertently picked Armistice day, and, as I was booked to travel later that day, I never did get to go inside.

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28 minutes ago, Oziex1 said:

The embers have barely cooled and there they are, we're not liable nothing to do with us. 

Of course they say that, after being asked by journalists, when the building is not insured.

What else would they say.

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Posted (edited)

Notre- Dame  may unfortunately go the way of other heritage sites.

Parthenon and Colosseum are mostly rubble or dressed up with modern materials and tools. All these ancient buildings crumble with time.

What about the affect of prolonged intense heat on the masonry at Notre  Dame?

What if there is heavy rain in Paris this week?

The shell might still crumble or become irrepairable.

Its 850 years old.

Edited by Lucius verus
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1 hour ago, stevenl said:

Since it was not insured, of course.

But if contractors are held responsible?

 

I as a sole trader have public liability insurance of £5,000,000.

 

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11 minutes ago, Lucius verus said:

Notre- Dame  may unfortunately go the way of other heritage sites.

Parthenon and Colosseum are mostly rubble or dressed up with modern materials and tools. All these ancient buildings crumble with time.

What about the affect of prolonged intense heat on the masonry at Notre  Dame?

What if there is heavy rain in Paris this week?

The shell might still crumble or become irrepairable.

Its 850 years old.

It looks like they were able douce the falling debris immediately it fell, so by some miracle they have saved much of the interior, even candles still intact.

The most urgent job will be to cover the building, and securing the materials just for that is going to take weeks.

One thing for sure is It will be restored.

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1 hour ago, Basil B said:

But if contractors are held responsible?

 

I as a sole trader have public liability insurance of £5,000,000.

 

Then the contractor will go bust because his insurance of a lousy 5 mio would not cover the estimated costs of 8000 mio or 8 billion. Of course insurers will pay for that, just as they will pay for damage to works of art that were insured.

 

But that is not what the OP is about.

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2 hours ago, stevenl said:

Since it was not insured, of course.

It was, as the expected reaction of the insurance mob clearly shows.

In the meantime there are parties in certain parts of France because it burned down.

The superfast reaction from the French authorities will probably mean that there never will be found a reason why the fire started.

Smelly business indeed.

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