France To Rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral With Traditional Design After Fire


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France’s National Heritage and Architecture Commission (CNPA), in a statement Thursday, announced that the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris would be rebuilt in its traditional style after a 2019 fire partially destroyed the site.

Notre Dame, which was first built during the 13th century in the Gothic architectural style, was struck by disaster when a fire destroyed the cathedral’s spire and roof April 15, 2019, Reuters reported. After the disaster, French President Emmanuel Macron promised to rebuild Notre Dame within five years.

The French government announced a month after the fire that it would be accepting requests over how to rebuild the spire, which crashed through the roof after catching on fire. (RELATED: Construction Workers Return To Burned Notre Dame Cathedral In France After Coronavirus Pauses Rebuilding)

The spire was only added in the 19th century during a restoration effort by architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc following the Napoleonic Wars.

TOPSHOT - A picture taken on April 16, 2019 shows Notre-Dame-de-Paris in the aftermath of a fire that devastated the cathedral. - Paris was struck in its very heart as flames devoured the roof of Notre-Dame, on April 15, 2019, the medieval cathedral made famous by Victor Hugo, its two massive towers flanked with gargoyles instantly recognisable even by people who have never visited the city. (Photo by BERTRAND GUAY / AFP) (Photo credit should read BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty Images)

Renovations begin April 16, 2019 at the Notre-Dame de Paris in the aftermath of a fire that devastated the cathedral (Bertrand Guay/AFP via Getty Images)

Many of the design requests included modernist architecture, The Irish Times reported. One design featured a curvy roof and spire made of glass, oak and carbon fibre — it also included solar panels and an urban farm. Another design imagined a new roof and spire built out of colored stained glass.

Discussions over how to restore the spire were reportedly tense, according to BBC News. Army general Jean-Louis Georgelin, who was put in charge of overseeing the reconstruction effort, supported a modernist alternative to the traditional design. However, the cathedral’s chief architect Philippe Villeneuve said he supported restoring the 19th century design.

“After the consultations today, the president became convinced of the need to restore Notre Dame of Paris in such a way that conforms as much as possible to its former complete, coherent and known state,” a source from Macron’s Elysée Palace told the Financial Times.

Church officials and the French government hope Notre Dame will be open for mass by 2024, the year Paris is set to host the Olympic Games, according to Reuters.

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