Our latest report on the construction site dealt with the dismantling of the huge frame of pipes, metal footbridges and scaffolding ladders that filled the Salle Favart from top to bottom. And we told you of the sounds which accompanied this new phase of the renovation work. The photos below show the extent of what's happening. Day after day, the level of scrap lowers. The dismantlers have already reached the mezzanine and will soon arrive at ground floor. It could be compared to a stroller walking on the seashore as the tide is on the ebb: he then realizes the enormous quantity of water that filled the beach a few minutes earlier. Now that Favart is cleared of its pipes, albeit on two levels, one can grasp the hugeness of what has been done.
On Wednesday 29 June the steering committee made a report on the progress of the work. The race against time that began a year ago is the main preoccupation of all those involved in this gigantic venture.
A few figures will be more telling: a total of 8500 square meters restored by 13 companies representing 16 trades, 307 premises, 15 stairways in the renovated part, an average of 80 workers, 210 cubic meters of concrete, one and a half mile of ventilation shafts installed, nearly two miles of plumbing checked and changed when necessary, 330 doors restored or replaced, 700 square meters of carpet replaced, and so forth. Favart is undergoing a facelift but it's virtually impossible to realize it. Take a look at our dear Manon (see photos) who usually welcomes the public in the lobby. She's regaining its translucent complexion and the stone its expressive character. But figures only give a vague idea of the transformation underway.
Eighteen months will have elapsed before the reopening. So far, the renovation work is on schedule. By the beginning of 2017, the whole team will return to the opera house. Then, the construction site will be but a memory.