A 2017 Time article discussing the crumbling, wearing out, and water damage of France's Notre Dame Cathedral prior to the 2019 fire writes (emphasis added):

Notre Dame, which looms over the capital from an island in the center of the city, is a constant reminder of Paris’ history. It has seen more than its share of epic dramas, including the French Revolution and two world wars. But now there is another challenge. Some 854 years after construction began, one of Europe’s most visited sites, with about 12 million tourists a year, is in dire need of repairs. Centuries of weather have worn away at the stone. The fumes from decades of gridlock have only worsened the damage. “Pollution is the biggest culprit,” says Philippe Villeneuve, architect in chief of historic monuments in France. “We need to replace the ruined stones. We need to replace the joints with traditional materials. This is going to be extensive.”

Have scientists studied the effect of pollution on the Notre Dame Cathedral? What are the results of these studies?

  • 1
    I've finished fixing the question, reopened and cleaned up the old version comments. To would be answerers, we expect answers to be specific to Notre Dame and not general chemistry considerations.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 23:10
  • @Sklivvz Any suggestions for current and/or future improvement? Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 23:28
  • Probably a lot more has been written about the effects of pollution on the Taj Mahal. That material should be examined for relevant statements about the effects of pollution on different types of stone. Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 23:38
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    Pretty sure the fire was the main cause. Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 10:22
  • @ComicSansStrikephim the fire was the main cause of damage to the cathedral that occurred before the fire? How do you figure that?
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 26, 2023 at 21:35


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