Dec. 18 - Paris' favorite lady gets a shiny birthday present as the last of eight new bells is completed in a Normandy bell foundry. Tara Cleary reports.
Foundry workers in Normandy, France face searing heat as they mix metal for the last of Notre Dame Cathedral's eight new bells. The Paris landmark will celebrate its 850th anniversary in 2013 and the new bells are a sort of architectural birthday gift. Foundry President, Paul Bergamo says a lot of research went into reproducing the sound quality of the bells that were in the cathedral's belfry during the French Revolution. SOUNDBITE: Paul Bergamo, President of Cornille Havard Bell Foundry, saying (English): "The aim of the project is to reconstitute the sound in terms of power, in terms of notes, of the bells before the French Revolution." The team has been working for several months on the Notre Dame bells and is understandably proud. SOUNDBITE: Stephane Mouton, Director of Production, Cornille Havard Bell Foundry, saying (French): "This only happens once in a lifetime. We're expecting these to last 250-300 years. It's not like we're going to make more new bells for Notre Dame, not our generation." Besides new ringers, the cathedral has upgraded its lighting and renovated the organ. The last bell, named Anne-Genevieve, will stay in the mold for 10 days and will be inaugurated with the rest of its bronze counterparts at Notre Dame on February 2nd.