ATLANTA - Asselin, a maker of high-end custom handcrafted traditional windows, doors, cabinetry, wood panels, parquet flooring, and staircases, is reportedly in talks to help rebuild the recently-destroyed Notre Dame Cathedral.
Leaders of the family-owned French company, which has completed more than 50 projects in the U.S., just got back from touring the 850-year-old cathedral. The world watched as Notre Dame was severely damaged by a fire last month.
Company president Francois Asselin told WSB-TV Atlanta news that the company is assembling a bid to rebuild the cathedral's wooden roof framing. Asselin has experience restoring and rebuilding historical monuments, having restored all of the windows of Versailles and wood framing inside the Louvre.
Asselin's windows at Versailles
Rebuilding Notre Dame's roof would be a serious challenge. The wood of more than 1,300 ancient oak trees supported the 850-year-old cathedral - much of which was destroyed in the fire. The huge trees date back to the 12th century and come from primary forests - forests largely untouched by humans. There are hardly any left in Europe.
“They’ll have to look far and wide for it,” University of Montana professor of wood science and technology Ed Burke told the Missoulian. “You’re not just going to roll your logging company out. They built the way they could in the 1100s. This is going to take a concerted effort to find those resources again.”
"You cut oaks fall and winter and you need two - three years to find specific oaks for the framing," Asselin said. 
France may have to consider other building options if it wishes to follow through on President Emmanuel Macron's promise of a five-year rebuild. Some French officials doubt the five-year timeline, saying it could take up to 15 years and cost billions of dollars. Nearly $900 million has been pledged in donations from around the world. 
Asselin is certainly not the only company hoping to land the project. Learn more about Asselin here.

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