Restoration work on the 123-metre-high towers of Antwerp Cathedral will begin on 21 January. The project will take about two years to complete. During that time, the towers will be partly covered with scaffolding. Work will start on the upper part of the towers, from the clock upward, then, from winter 2020, move to the interior of the church.
Antwerp Cathedral, the biggest Gothic construction in the former Low Countries, is a protected monument. Its towers are classified as a UNESCO world heritage site. Dating back to 1518, they have been restored regularly.
This time around, the restoration will focus mainly on the external wall of the towers. The natural stone, grouting and sculpture of the towers will thus be repaired and restored where necessary. The natural stones are also scheduled to be cleaned, while the gold plating of the rooster and the cross at the top will also receive a facelift.
Visitors will thus have to make allowances for the scaffolding that will hide part of the building while the restoration work lasts. Moreover, the dial of the clock will be taken down to be restored in a workshop.
The cathedral’s chimes and bell, which mark the hours and half-hours, will no longer ring out since they will need to be removed as a precaution during the works. However, a special bell will ring, but only during special events at the cathedral, the Mayor’s Office announced.
The Carillion concert will be continued up to the month of April 2019.