France to launch an architectural competition to restore Notre Dame cathedral
France is recovering from the devastating fire that engulfed the famous Notre Dame cathedral's roof.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has announced an international architectural competition to renovate the roofline of iconic 850-year-old Gothic building. The fire gutted the oak-beamed structure and pulled its 300-foot spire crashing into the nave.
"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. 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," Philippe said after a cabinet meeting.
He also added that they hope for "a new spire that is adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era." However, no estimations on the cost for a renovation have been done, as of now. The government is to present a bill next week to ensure "transparency and good management" during the reconstruction, including measures to ensure that donations go to the right cause.
Experts claim that the whole process could stretch into decades considering challenges including sourcing materials and the care needed to preserve elements that have survived the fire but might have been damaged.