French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to restore the Notre Dame Cathedral in just five years after flames ravaged the iconic church in the heart of Paris, France. Over one billion dollars has been pledged by people all over the world to aid in the restoration effort which will include replacing the 300-foot spire which collapsed in the fire.
On Wednesday (April 17) French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that there will be an international competition to decide who will get the design the reconstructed spire and what it will look like when it is rebuilt.
“Should we reconstruct an arrow? The same? Adapted to the techniques and challenges of our time? An international architecture competition for the reconstruction of the cathedral spire will be organized," Philippe wrote on Twitter.
The spire was not part of the original cathedral, which took over 200 years to build. The spire was added during a restoration project in the 19th-century.
“The international competition will allow us to ask the question of whether we should even recreate the spire as it was conceived by Viollet-le-Duc,” Philippe told reporters. “Or, as is often the case in the evolution of heritage, whether we should endow Notre Dame with a new spire. This is obviously a huge challenge, a historic responsibility.”
The historic cathedral was undergoing a $170 million renovation when the fire broke out. Officials have not determined the exact cause of the blaze but do believe it was an accident. Firefighters were able to save almost all of the artwork and historical artifacts and managed to keep the building's frame mostly intact.
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