Repairing a crumbling brick arch

I am currently repairing the façade on our house in northern France. It is brick on the ground floor, and the upper floors were once wattle & daub, but are now in cladding. The bricks date back to the mid to late 18th century, and are becoming very brittle, but are a nice orange color, and we would like to (in fact have to according to the deeds) preserve them as much as possible. There are two front entrances to the house, one standard rectangular one, and a wider but lower arched one (see attached photo). Various owners had filled in the cracks with various types and colors of mortar/cement/reinforced concrete (yes, really!) which was very ugly. I have just removed all this. As you can see in the photo, there are a number of bricks missing; my idea was to replace these with the bricks that are currently surrounding the two entrances, and use new bricks in a similar color to the others to replace them. How difficult is it to do this? As far as the arch is concerned, how is the lintel supported while the bricks are being replaced? Any advice/opinions/suggestions would be gratefully received.
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Carbonel64


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On Sun, 29 Jul 2012 17:28:14 +0000, Carbonel64

A local brick mason should advise you.
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Vic

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That brick work is all in a bad way. It looks like the bricks are poors quality and have been subjected to frost damage. The main issue will be the conservation attitude of government in France, can't help you there. In the UK they would go to desperate (stupid) extremes to try to preserve stuff like this.
I would say that brickwork is verging on the dangerous and could fall on someone. But that might solve any preservation problems you might have with local government, you could the replace it with modern frost resistant bricks.
Could even be given a little help to fall down if you get my meaning?
if you could get hold of similar old bricks, they could be replaced piece by piece but it would be very expensive and take a long time. Probably lime cement, not hydraulic.
There is no lintel, arches are selfsupporting. A "needle" would have to be put through the wall to support it while the arch was being fixed. (Temporary joist supported at both sides.)
Arches are constucted on a timber formwork (more expense)
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