Stone uses in Reims Cathedral: provenance, physical properties and restoration phases
A. Turmel, G. Fronteau, C. Thomachot-Schneider, C. Moreau, L. Chalumeau, V. Barbin, 2014. "Stone uses in Reims Cathedral: provenance, physical properties and restoration phases", Stone in Historic Buildings: Characterization and Performance, J. Cassar, M. G. Winter, B. R. Marker, N. R. G. Walton, D. C. Entwisle, E. N. Bromhead, J. W. N. Smith
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Reims Cathedral is a major monument in the NE of France originally built with local Lutetian limestone. The recent closure of the last quarries has made restoration using the same stone more complicated. The restoration stones used currently are Lutetian limestones from the centre of the Paris Basin (Saint-Pierre-Aigle and Saint-Maximin stones). Mapping of the Cathedral's façades confirmed the data from ancient manuscripts: Courville stone was the original building stone, but several other local stones from various quarries and beds were also used. As a follow-up to this mapping, Lutetian limestones from five disused quarries were sampled for petrophysical characterization tests: thin section analyses, porosimetry, capillary and drying kinetics. The petrophysical properties of the limestones showed differences between the two main local stone types (Ditrupa limestone and miliolids limestone) and also between the quarries. This study addresses the difficulty of selecting new stone for restoration. Should ancient quarries be re-opened? If so, which ones?