It’s time for major works for the largest Gothic palace in the world. To carry out this project, an envelope of nearly 6 million euros has been allocated, largely financed by the Vaucluse departmental council. So as not to disturb visitors photographing one of France’s favorite monuments, a large tarpaulin covers the outside of the building.
The works are taking place out of sight, a large tarpaulin of 1700 m2 covers the scaffolding 40 meters high, this installation will temporarily cover the building until 2023.
Aimed at Vaucluse residents and tourists, this postcard trompe l’oeil is also an original promotional campaign medium for the main funder of the works. On the tarpaulin, no advertising but a slogan defended by the president of the Departmental Council, “Vaucluse, the South of possibilities” is much more than a slogan (…) We must make known everywhere in France, and even in the world, everything that makes us unique. Far from the big cities, at a time when telework is developing massively, we offer everything that allows us today to develop innovative projects.” explains Dominique Santoni, president of the Vaucluse Departmental Council.
- Restorations involving several crafts.
After emergency works carried out in the spring of 2020, the construction phase focuses on the oldest part of the Palace of the Popes: La Tour de la Campane and the wing of the Families (1334-1342). These 2 parts of the historic building can be seen between the entrance to the building and the Notre-Dame des Doms basilica.
- Restoration of joinery, wrought iron gates, merlons, roofing and stone facades.
- Innovative restoration techniques.
Among these innovative techniques, the cleaning of the stones of the facade of the Campane tower and the Families wing. youn curative treatment by nebulization is used based on essential oils, in particular thyme and rosemary. It removes “gently” mosses, lichens and other degradation of time. This protocol is prescribed by the Historical Monuments Research Laboratory. Four weeks after application, low pressure steam is sent on and then the stones are brushed to remove residue.
“An option based on maximum conservation both in terms of cleaning techniques and restoration philosophy. The objective is to preserve as much of the existing stone as possible while redrawing the old silhouette of the Palace” precise Alice Trévien, Chief Architect of Historic Monuments and Project Manager at theagency Pierre Antoine Gatier.
The end of this project is scheduled for December 2022, but the renovation of the Palace of the Popes is not yet finished. A new phase of work will begin from 2023 to 2024. So many operations necessary, not to say vital, to restore its former glory. This building classified as an exceptional historical monument is also protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.