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Paris’s Notre Dame to be restored as it was before destruction

Paris’s Notre Dame to be restored as it was before destruction

Posted July. 11, 2020 08:01,   

Updated July. 11, 2020 08:01


The French government has decided to restore Notre Dame in the center of Paris just the way it was before last year’s destructive fire. With opinions on whether to restore Notre Dame’s original version or to transform the historical building into a modern-era style architecture being deeply divided across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic has only held back developments in a reconstruction project, which will likely gain momentum thanks to the Élysée Palace’s decision to restore the medieval building as it was before.

The Élysée Palace of France made an official announcement on Thursday (local time) that French President Emmanuel Macron gave final approval to a plan to rebuild Norte Dame’s spiral and roof parts to its original style. While President Macron’s preference was reportedly to choose steel beams over wood as structural elements, and titanium over lead as an exterior material, France's National Heritage and Architecture Commission (CNPA) preferred a plan to bring its architectural originality to the cathedral.

Added to this, a growing number of French government officials have been supportive of having Notre Dame’s original version restored within a short time period given that they aim to get the project done before the Olympic Games open in Paris late July next year. If the French government chooses to redesign the cathedral in a modern style, it takes longer to administer design competitions and select a final winner.

The spiral of Notre Dame will be rebuilt as originally designed by architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc who took over repairing the part in 1859. A famous wooden structure on the roof called “The Forest” will be built in a traditional way that oak elements are interlinked one another.

Built in 1345, the landmark Gothic architecture on the Cite Island of Paris was designated as one of the UNESCO world heritages in 1991 thanks to religiously sacred heritages and artifacts including the relic of Jesus Christ's Crown of Thorns. As many as 13 million visitors pay a visit to Notre Dame every year, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in the French capital. It was reported that dedicated firefighters fought hard against the flames of fire to keep Christ’s Crown of Thorn intact.

Youn-Jong Kim zozo@donga.com