French President Emmanuel Macron told a grieving nation that he aims to restore the Notre Dame cathedral within five years after
“We will rebuild Notre-Dame because that is what the French expect,” Macron said of the more than 850-year-old Gothic icon in his Tuesday afternoon address, adding that it will be “even more beautiful.”
“We can do this,” he vowed. Notre Dame took around 180 years to build after the original foundation was laid in 1163.
The French leader’s goal is an ambitious one considering that Paris is already busy readying itself to host the 2024 Olympics
The ferocious blaze claimed much of Notre Dame’s roof and collapsed its delicate spire as emergency responders fought to stamp the flames out over the course of 12 hours. For a brief time, onlookers feared the entire structure might be lost as flames spread perilously close to the structure’s iconic towers, but firefighters were able to rescue it.
Officials confirmed that the cathedral, although charred and partially flattened, appears structurally sound.
Investigators are regarding the fire as an accident, saying they haven’t found any evidence suggesting it was set intentionally. Two police officers and a firefighter were reportedly injured in the ordeal.
Parisians took to the streets to mourn Notre Dame, joining together in song and prayer, with
Efforts to restore the historic monument ― a staple of medieval architecture ― seem already to be well-funded. Prominent French businesses and families, including those behind the luxury brands Louis Vuitton and Kering, have already
Yet the cathedral had been in dire need of repair for decades before the fire. Its flying buttresses were
Although the structure had survived the French Revolution and two World Wars, a far more mundane problem has been threatening its preservation.
“Pollution is the biggest culprit,” Philippe Villeneuve, architect-in-chief of historic monuments in France,
Friends of Notre-Dame, a U.S.-based nonprofit established in 2016 to fund the restorations, launched a campaign in 2017
A construction expert