17 APR 2019


Architects from around the world are being invited to take part in a competition which is designed to rebuild the iconic spire of the Notre Dame cathedral which was destroyed in the blaze.

Edouard Philippe, the country's prime minister, has announced the contest and called for "a new spire that is adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era".

Hundreds of French firefighters won the 15-hour long battle to save the main structure of the cathedral in central Paris, after a huge fire caused the spire of the famous structure to crash to the ground on Monday (15 April).

French president Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild Notre Dame and expressed relief that "the worst had been avoided" in a fire that was said to be less than half an hour away from destroying the entire cathedral for good.

The fire destroyed the roof of the 850-year-old UNESCO world heritage landmark, before the Gothic spire fell as shocked Parisians and tourists looked on.

The cause of the blaze has yet to be confirmed, however it has been noted that restoration work had been ongoing at the time and the fire service says there is a possibility it could be linked.

On the competition, Philippe said: "It will allow us to ask the question of whether we should even recreate the spire as it was conceived by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc, (spire architect) or if, as is often the case in the evolution of heritage, we should endow Notre-Dame with a new spire."

In an earlier televised address to the nation, Macron said that he wants the cathedral to be rebuilt in five years and that it should be "even more beautiful." Although experts have warned the full restoration could take longer than 10 years.

Renovation costs are set to be fairly astronomical but donations have been flooding in all week with the total now sitting at €800m with substantial amounts coming from business leaders and France's three richest families.


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