Plans Announced for Rebuilding of Notre-Dame Spire

The new spire will look a lot like the old one

After the 2019 fire, what's next for the iconic cathedral?
Uoaei1/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / July 13, 2020 3:50 pm

After Paris’s iconic Notre-Dame cathedral was almost destroyed in a fire in 2019, there’s been plenty of discussion of both the fire itself and the process of rebuilding. Finding the right way to reconstruct a storied, centuries-old building — one which means the world to countless people across the globe — is no easy task.

A new report from Tom Ravenscroft at Dezeen indicates that there’s now a plan to rebuild the cathedral’s spire — and it involves replicating the way the spire looked before the fire. According to a statement from French President Emmanuel Macron, “The president trusts the experts and approved the main outlines of the project presented by the chief architect, which plans to reconstruct the spire identically.”

As Ravenscroft writes, the statement from Macron’s office answers a lingering question about the cathedral’s spire. Namely, would it be rebuilt exactly as it was, or would the new spire reflect a different architectural style? In an earlier article about the cathedral, Ravenscroft noted that Eugène Viollet-le-Duc’s 19th century design for the spire itself represented an updated version of what had been there previously. In other words, an updated version of the spire might have been in keeping with the spirit, if not the letter, of the previous version.

Macron had previously indicated an openness to a more modern approach to the new spire, making this decision something of a surprise to some observers. The specific timeframe related to the spire’s rebuilding remains to be determined. In the past, Macron has spoken about having it rebuilt in time for the 2024 Olympics, but questions persist about the feasibility of that plan.

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