Notre Dame: Rector claims restoration of Paris cathedral will need 15-20 years

In the days following the 15 April 2019, blaze that engulfed Paris’ Gothic gem, French President Emmanuel Macron set a five-year restoration deadline for 2024, when Paris is to host the Summer Olympics. But French officials quickly backpedaled Macron’s statement, conceding that it was unrealistic to complete the enormous project by that time.

The Associated Press April 03, 2021 12:03:41 IST
Notre Dame: Rector claims restoration of Paris cathedral will need 15-20 years

It has been almost two years since a fire ravaged the massive Gothic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Image via The Associated Press/ Christophe Ena, Pool

Paris: The rector of Notre Dame said on 2 April that the burned-out Paris cathedral and its esplanade could remain a building site for another “15 or 20 years.”

Rector Patrick Chauvet spoke to The Associated Press following Good Friday ceremonies, including venerating the 'Crown of Thorns' at Notre Dame’s temporary liturgical base, the nearby church of Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois.

He added that: “I can guarantee that there’s work to do!”

In the days following the 15 April 2019, blaze that engulfed Paris’ Gothic gem, French President Emmanuel Macron set a five-year restoration deadline for 2024, when Paris is to host the Summer Olympics. But French officials quickly backpedaled Macron’s statement, conceding that it was unrealistic to complete the enormous project by that time.

Notre Dame Rector claims restoration of Paris cathedral will need 1520 years

On 1 April 2021, Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit prays during the Washing of the Feet ceremony for Maundy Thursday at the temporary liturgical base created in Notre Dame. Image via The Associated Press/ Christophe Ena, Pool

The blaze also distributed vast amounts of toxic lead from the cathedral’s burned-out roof onto the site and nearby, complicating the clean-up work that came before restoration efforts could even begin.

Works planned include remodeling the cathedral’s esplanade, which before the blaze was visited every year by 20 million tourists.

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