In the wake of the devastating fire that broke out at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris last week, France is now turning its attention to rebuilding the beloved site.
Experts are still taking stock of the full extent of the damage caused by the blaze, which burned for almost 15 hours before being extinguished.
The cathedral’s spire and much of its roof were destroyed in the fire but, fortunately, its iconic towers and many valuable artifacts, including the Crown of Thorns, survived.
Photo by bennett tobias on Unsplash
The French government announced it will accept proposals from architects around the world for a redesign of the collapsed spire. The competition is already sparking controversy, with many critics arguing that the architectural masterpiece should be rebuilt exactly as it looked before the fire. Others are quick to point out that the spire was added during the 19th-century and therefore updating the spire would not alter the 850-year-old cathedral’s original design.
Donors have pledged more than €700 million so far towards the reconstruction of the cathedral. French President Emmanuel Macron has said he hopes to see the rebuilding completed ahead of the 2024 Olympics in Paris, but some experts caution that the cathedral may be closed for repairs for much longer.