French PM announces competition for architects to rebuild Notre Dame spire
Edouard Philippe said the competition aims at ‘giving Notre Dame a spire adapted to techniques and challenges of our times’.
The French prime minister has announced an international competition for architects to rebuild the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral.
Edouard Philippe announced the contest following a special cabinet meeting held by French President Emmanuel Macron on the cathedral’s reconstruction.
The announcement came as Notre Dame’s rector, bishop Patrick Chauvet, said he will close the burned-out Paris cathedral for up to six years.
Mr Philippe said the competition aims at “giving Notre Dame a spire adapted to techniques and challenges of our times”.
He said authorities have no estimation yet of the total cost of the renovation work. Mr Macron said he wants the cathedral to be rebuilt by five years.
Mr Philippe said: “This is obviously a huge challenge, a historic responsibility.”
Bishop Chauvet acknowledged that the famed monument would close down for “five to six years” as he spoke with local business owners, two days after the blaze.
The bishop said “a segment of the cathedral has been very weakened” by the fire.
He added that it was unclear what the church’s 67 employees would be doing in the future.