Notre-Dame’s spire will be back in place by the end of the year, but a full reopening after the devastating 2019 fire won’t happen until next year’s Paris Olympics.
The reconstruction is still on track for completion by the end of 2024, the culture ministry told AFP.
“The site is progressing at a good pace,” said a spokesman.
Authorities have previously cited Dec. 8 — the Feast of the Immaculate Conception — as a likely deadline.
It means the 12th-century cathedral, which previously attracted some 12 million visitors a year, will not be able to welcome visitors to the Olympic Games Paris is hosting in July and August 2024.
But the sharp spire, added by architect Eugene Viollet-Le-Duc during the cathedral’s redesign in the 19th century and replacing an earlier wooden spire that had fallen into disrepair, will be back in place by the end of 2023, the ministry said. .
The collapse of the wooden spire was one of the most dramatic moments of the April 15, 2019 fire.
An identical version has been made from the same original materials: 500 tons of oak wood for the structure and 250 tons of lead for the lid and ornaments.
There have been health concerns over the lead waste from the fire and the use of lead in reconstruction work, with French officials having to reassure their European counterparts that adequate safety measures are in place.
Preparatory work to begin re-installing the spire began this week, with scaffolding being erected and cut-to-size foundation stones delivered along the River Seine.
Once completed, the spire will reach 100 meters in height.
Meanwhile, the painstaking cleaning of the interior walls of the cathedral – a total of 42,000 m2 – has been completed, along with that of wall paintings, ironwork, joinery, stained glass and sculptures that survived the fire.
A temporary hangar has been built in front of the main facade where sculptors can restore and replace the statues.
New interior designs are being considered with a winning plan to be selected this summer.
There was controversy over last year’s decision to include contemporary art in the exhibits in the cathedral.
Archbishop of Paris Laurent Ulrich recently said he wanted “an educational and spiritual journey… not the equivalent of a museum”.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
Featured video of the day
Car drags parked bicycle 4 kilometers in Gurugram