Notre Dame fire: Could digital scans, video game help rebuild damaged cathedral?

After the fire that damaged the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral, there could be hope with its rebuilding.

Multiple millionaires across the globe have pledged hundreds of millions of Euros to help reconstruct what was lost.

Credit: Christophe Petit Tesson, Pool via AP

Credit: Christophe Petit Tesson, Pool via AP

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Francois-Henri Pinault, who is married to actress Salma Hayek, and his father, Francois Pinault are donating €100 million or about $113 million, to rebuild after the fire, Francois-Henri Pinault said brought his 17-year-old daughter to tears, told a French radio station, according to Business of Fashion.

The Pinaults own Kering, which owns Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, CNN reported.

Bernard Arnault, whos LVMH Group owns Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Givenchy, is also donating funds to repair the church, CNN reported. Arnault said he will give €200 million, or nearly $226 million.

While the money will help financially with rebuilding, the actual reconstruction could be aided thanks to a project by architectural historian Andrew Tallon.

Tallon, who passed away in November, according to the Society of Architectural Historians, laser mapped every inch of Notre Dame, according to MIT's Technology Review and National Geographic.


The process was documented by National Geographic in 2015 when he scanned the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

For the Notre Dame project, Tallon scanned more than 50 locations in and around the church and collected more than a billion data points, National Geographic reported.

There is also another nontraditional source that could shed light on how to rebuild Notre Dame, a video game.

The storyline for the game "Assassin's Creed Unity" was set in Paris, San Francisco Gate reported. One of the game's artists, Caroline Miousse, said she spent two years working on getting the look of Notre Dame Cathedral, which is one of, if not the, biggest structure in the game, just right.

The game, which is set in two time periods: the French Revolution and World War II, features the cathedral both inside and out.

Miousse told The Verge in 2014 before the game was released that she spent 80% of her time working on the church.

The company that made “Assassin’s Creed,” Ubisoft, also has staff historians to get details for the game.

Miousse worked with those historians to get every detail right, including where paintings hung on the walls in real life, The Verge reported.

She also incorporated more recent additions, meaning after the set time period of the French Revolution like the iconic spire that collapsed in the fire, were added because players of the game already have a mental picture of Notre Dame Cathedral and it felt that something was missing, according to The Verge.

Surprisingly Miousse didn’t ever see Notre Dame Cathedral in person before recreating it in a digital realm. But after she was done making it for “Assassin's Creed Unity,” she visited Notre Dame in Paris, saying she felt like it deja vu. When a guard wasn’t looking, she gave a quick kiss to one of the walls.

"For me, it was a lot like visiting my home," Miousse told The Verge.

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