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New bells en route for Paris' Notre Dame cathedral

  • This Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 file photo shows new bell bound for Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, "Gabriel", after being cast in the foundry of Villedieu les Poeles, Normandy. (AP Photo/David Vincent, file)

VILLEDIEU-LES-POELES, France: Nine enormous, new bronze bells are on their way to Paris to give the medieval Notre Dame Cathedral a more modern sound.

The bells will be on display at the cathedral from Saturday through Feb. 25. Then they will be hoisted to its iconic twin towers, where they will replace older bells that had become discordant.

The bells are named after saints and weigh 23 tons altogether. Most were cast in a foundry in the Normandy town of Villedieu.

They were blessed in a benediction ceremony by a local priest, then sent on a convoy of trucks Thursday from Villedieu to Paris.

The new bells are part of celebrations marking 850 years since the beginning of the cathedral's construction in 1163. It took nearly 90 years to build.

 
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