Grounds in front of Notre Dame reopen after cleanup

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THIBAULT CAMUS/ Associated Press

People walk on the forecourt of Notre Dame's Cathedral, in Paris, Sunday, May 31. Notre Dame Cathedral's forecourt is being opened up to the public for the first time since the devastating fire of April 15 last year.

Associated Press

PARIS — Notre Dame Cathedral’s forecourt is being opened to the public for the first time since last year’s fire.

CBC News

The group overseeing the Gothic structure’s restoration said Sunday the reopening was made possible after several deep clean operations took place to remove toxic lead dust from the large forecourt.

Dozens of tons of lead went up in flames during the fire, sending poisonous lead dust onto the surrounding ground.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo will join senior clergy on a visit to the area in the afternoon.

To protect public health, the site will continue to “be regularly cleaned and samples also taken” for monitoring and analysis.

The cathedral is still closed and will be for several years during renovations.

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