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France Goes Old-School on Notre Dame Design

Roof, famous spire to be reconstructed to look the same as before massive fire
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2020 12:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – Since a fire destroyed much of the roof of Paris' Notre Dame cathedral last April, architects have proposed new designs including a rooftop pool and a giant park. But if you're one for tradition, you'll be happy to know those options have been ruled out. French President Emmanuel Macron announced Thursday that the roof of the 13th-century church would be rebuilt just as it was, per the BBC. Most notably, the church's 315-foot spire, a 19th-century replacement that toppled in flames in a heartbreaking moment for Parisians, will be rebuilt to look the same, Macron said. Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot said "there was a large consensus in public opinion and among those deciding," per the Local.

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Though the president initially favored a "contemporary gesture," time is of the essence as Macron hopes to have the renovation completed in time for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. "Things had to be cleared up quickly," according to the Elysée. It said Macron's aim was "not delaying the reconstruction and making it complicated." Though reconstruction isn't set to begin until January, the process of removing melted scaffolding at the cathedral, begun in June, has already been held up due to bad weather, concerns about lead pollution, and the coronavirus pandemic, per Deutsche Welle. That process is expected to wrap up by the end of September. The project is funded by more than $1 billion in donations. (Read more Notre Dame Cathedral stories.)

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