Speculation on a contemporary replacement for the damaged spire of the cathedral has been quashed by French President Emmanuel Macron.
Image: Wandrille de Préville via Wikimedia Commons
In the continuing saga of the fire which destroyed the spire of Notre-Dame cathedral, French President Emmanuel Macron has announced this week that the structure will be re-built in the 19th century style, despite earlier, contraversial suggestions the he may consider a ‘contemporary architectural gesture’.
Shortly after the fire, which occured in April 2019, former French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced a competition for international architects to rebuild the spire, which he said would allow the cathedral to be ‘adapted to the technologies and challenges of our times.’
However, President Macron has now reneged on this idea, with the Elysée stating aims of “not delaying the reconstruction and making it complicated – things had to be cleared up quickly”, according to BBC News. “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.”
Not only does President Macron’s decision reflect a want to have the work completed in time for the Paris-hosted 2024 Olympics, to which an architecture competition could add unnecessary delays, but contraversy also surrounded the modernisation of the cathedral, especially in regards to a series of outlandish proposal from architects around the world, which has lead to tense debate over the restoration.
Read more: A brief history of Notre-Dame cathedral
The fire started in the attic during restoration works in the cathedral, and destroyed huge sections of the roof, as well as Viollet-le-Duc’s nineteenth century spire and some of the ribbed vaulting.