- Title: FRANCE: New bells of Notre Dame ring out to unite young and old at blessing
- Date: 2nd February 2013
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (FEBRUARY 2, 2013) (REUTERS) SEATING AREA OUTSIDE NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL WITH SIGN READING (FRENCH AND ENGLISH): "850 YEARS" VISITORS OUTSIDE NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL VARIOUS OF WOMAN READING INVITATION TO CEREMONY VARIOUS OF BELLS INSIDE NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL SIGN ON BELL READING: "GABRIEL" CHILDREN SITTING BY BELL INSCRIPTION ON BELL VARIOUS OF PROCESSION OF CHURCH DIGNITARIES WALKING PAST BELLS VARIOUS OF CHURCH OFFICIALS STANDING BY BELLS VARIOUS OF ARCHBISHOP OF PARIS ANDRE VINGT-TROIS BLESSING BELLS FLAME
- Embargoed: 17th February 2013 12:00
- Location: France
- Country: France
- Topics: Quirky,Religion
- Reuters ID: LVA4VOZZ53YB8GI7APXO0KJPJN3B
- Story Text: A ceremonial blessing for the new Notre Dame bells united young and old on Saturday (February 2) as generations of families celebrated the latest chapter in the cathedral's long history.
Crowds queued outside to take part in the most recent phase of the church's 850th anniversary, as the row of shining bells awaited their official benediction to become part of the Cathedral.
Inside, hundreds of eager children were hushed into silence as Archbishop of Paris Andre Vingt-Trois led the procession to bless the bells.
Each of the new additions, carefully crafted to fit with the Cathedral's heritage, received a name from two children designated as its 'godmother' and 'godfather'. The surviving great bell Emmanuel from 1686 was joined by nine sprightly new comrades cast over recent months, including Marie, Gabriel and Anne-Genevieve.
International tourists visiting the world-famous site expressed hope for the future of the cathedral.
Student Chelsea, asked what the new bells would bring, said: "I don't know, hopefully lots of great things for the community, to preserve the beauty of the church and have it be here for another 850 years".
British visitors Justin and Grace said the commemoration had come as a pleasant surprise.
The bells will go on display in the nave for visitors to appreciate the intricate designs of French artist Virginie Bassetti before being permanently installed in the belfry, where they will chime for an expected 250-300 years.
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