PARIS: France will open an international competition for a re-design of the spire of Notre-Dame de Paris after the cathedral’s iconic roofline collapsed in Monday’s blaze, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Wednesday.
“The international competition will allow us to ask the question of whether we should even recreate the spire,” Philippe said, noting that the old 295-foot tall spire was only added to the cathedral in the 19th century.
President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild Notre-Dame “even more beautifully” within five years, as all of France’s cathedrals prepared to ring their bells on Wednesday to mark 48 hours since the colossal fire began.
The blaze Monday gutted the great Paris landmark, destroying the roof, causing the steeple to collapse and leaving France reeling with shock.
Macron announced the speedy timescale for restoration — a process some experts had said would take decades — in an address to the nation where he hailed how the disaster had shown the capacity of France to mobilise and unite.