The decision of President Emmanuel Macron was to rebuild the spire of Notre Dame de Paris cathedral as well as the framework identically. The fire of this illustrious Parisian monument made an impression on April 15, 2019. The site is colossal and restoring the cathedral to its former identity has required and still requires the use of the best workers. We rebuilt as before, that is to say in the 13th century with oak wood.

This is where the Scierie Sirop Bois, installed in Saint-Berain-sous-Sanvignes since 1895, comes in as a patron. A youngster compared to the cathedral. Because of oak, it is necessary and in large quantity, 1200 m3 or 1500 trees. “We immediately agreed to participate in the national effort” recalls Jean-François Sirop, who manages the sawmill with his brother Philippe and his son David.

There are about forty sawmills in France cutting the best oaks from French forests. This weekend, at Sirop, marked the end of work, the last cubic meters were debited according to very precise characteristics. Each part has a serial number. Once the frame and the spire have been rebuilt, it will be possible to trace each beam, each wood, know where the oak comes from and who the sawyer is.

In Saint-Berain, the Sirop sawmill did what was asked of it in parts, that is to say 80 m3 of oak. Now the wood will air dry for a year. Associating the name Sirop with the reconstruction of Paris cathedral is a real honor to which Jean-François Sirop wanted to join the forest owners who witnessed the last cuts.

This national momentum nonetheless gave rise to tensions among sawyers, mainly in Alsace. “They didn’t play along” regrets the boss. He even goes beyond this internal Franco-French feud and points the finger at China. “This country is a big problem,” he said in the cold November morning. Each year, the Chinese buy more wood in France, “30% again this year”.

China not only buys more and more wood, but at all prices. “You put in € 200, the Chinese offer € 250. You offer 300, they put 350. For 50 € more, everything goes to China, which risks endangering our sawmills, ”says Jean-François Sirop.

France nevertheless avoided the affront of selling oak to China, which could very well have sold it to us to rebuild Notre Dame de Paris. But for how long ?

Saint-Berain-sous-Sanvignes – The Sirop Bois sawmill at Notre-Dame de Paris for centuries and centuries – L’infoRmateur de Bourgogne (

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