The reconstruction of the cathedral notre dame in Paris is progressing fast enough to allow its reopening to visitors and faithful to end of 2024less than six years after a fire devastated its roof, French officials said Monday.
The cathedral’s iconic spire, which collapsed in the fire, will gradually begin to reappear atop the monument this year in a powerful sign of its rebirth, the army general in charge of the colossal project said, Jean-Louis Georgelin.
“In my opinion, the return of the spire to the sky of Paris will be the symbol that we are winning the battle of Notre Dame,” he told the news agency. PA.
The reconstruction itself began last year, after more than two years of work to make the monument stable and safe enough for the craftsmen to start rebuilding it.
The authorities have taken the decision to rebuild the 12th century monument, a masterpiece of gothic architecture, as it was before. That includes recreating the 93-meter-tall spire added in the 19th century by the architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc.
Meanwhile, an exhibition called Notre-Dame de Paris: in the heart of the construction site will open to visitors on Tuesday at an underground facility in front of the cathedral. Accessible free of charge, it highlights ongoing operations at the site and the experience and skills of workers. It also features some remains of the fire and artwork from the cathedral.
General Georgelin said the cathedral will reopen in December 2024, in line with the target set by President Emmanuel Macron just after the fire, but it will be too late for the Paris Olympics scheduled for summer next year.
“My job is to be ready to open this cathedral in 2024. And we will,” said General Georgelin. “We are fighting every day for that and we are on a good path.”
This “means that the archbishop of the capital will once again be in a position to celebrate the Catholic liturgy in his cathedral” and the monument will also “be open for tourists to visit,” he said.
The Minister of Culture, Abdul-Malak rhymesaid to PA that this does not mean that all the renovation will be finished then. “There will still be some renovation work in 2025, ″ he emphasized.
Meanwhile, the new exhibition near the cathedral will allow visitors, including those coming for the Olympics, “to live what this experience of visiting Notre-Dame could be in a whole new way,” he said. In addition to the free visit, a virtual reality show will allow paying visitors to immerse themselves in the history of the cathedral. “That will also help tourism in Paris,” she added.
Every day in the capital and throughout the country, about 1,000 people are working to rebuild Notre Dame, said General Georgelin.
“The biggest challenge is to accurately comply every day with the planning that we have done,” he emphasized. “We have many different works to achieve: the frame, the painting, the stones, the vault, the organ, the stained glass. etc.”
Philippe Jost, director general of the government agency overseeing the reconstruction, noted that the result “will be true to the original architecture,” both because “we stick to the missing forms of the cathedral” and because “we also stick to the materials.” and methods of construction” of the medieval period.
“We don’t make concrete vaults that look like stone, we make stone vaults that we reconstruct as they were built in the Middle Ages,” Jost said, adding that the roof structure will also be made of oak as it was initially.
(With information from AP)
When will the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral reopen?