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France to launch international competition to design a new spire for Notre-Dame cathedral

France Architecture News - Apr 22, 2019 - 00:55   3296 views

France to launch international competition to design a new spire for Notre-Dame cathedral

France is preparing to launch an international competition to design a new spire for the Notre-Dame Cathedral, which was damaged by a tragic fire exploded on April 15, 2019. 

During the fire, the cathedral's spire had collapsed in front of crowds and many people took its collapse in videos and shared social media. The spire was added to the cathedral during a 19th Century restoration project led by French architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told reporters that he is planning to make an international call to design a new spire for the cathedral, reported the BBC. He said that "we hope to build a new spire that is adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era".

Mr. Philippe added: "whether we should even recreate the spire as it was conceived by Viollet-le-Duc... or if, as is often the case in the evolution of heritage, we should endow Notre-Dame with a new spire".

France to launch international competition to design a new spire for Notre-Dame cathedral

Image © Bertrand Guay / AFP / Getty Images

In addition, President Emmanuel Macron said that he is promising the cathedral would be rebuilt "even more beautifully", by adding that he wanted the work done within five years. According to experts, the reconstruction of the cathedral could take decades. 

The 90-metre spire was not the original part of the cathedral, but it is one of the most iconic landmarks added to Paris skyline. The spire was added in the 1850s by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. The architect replaced the original 13th-century spire with the new one. 

So far, some world-renowned companies and figures, including François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of the Kering group, Apple, L'Oreal's owners, made big donations to the cathedral. €800m ($902m) has already been donated by a number of companies and business icons to help rebuild the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Mr. Philippe also added: "every euro paid for the construction of Notre-Dame will serve this purpose and nothing else", while also announcing a tax reduction for those donating towards the reconstruction, according to the BBC

France to launch international competition to design a new spire for Notre-Dame cathedral

Image courtesy of the BBC

Firefighters are trying to find the scale of damage by using drones

The fire began in the evening of April 15 and but the firefighters were able to be take the fire under control almost in nine hours after it started. It destroyed most of the cathedral's roof part and led to the collapse of its famous spire. Its stained-glass windows and the wooden interior was also been damaged by the fire. 

Firefighters have been using drones to survey the scale of the destruction. The BBC reported that at least one of the famed rose windows has been saved but some of the other stained-glass windows may be damaged. The 18th Century organ has not been burned but it is not clear if it is damaged.

Independent non-profit heritage group Fondation du Patrimoine said it is still too early to estimate the cost of the damage. 

Top image: Clem/Wikimedia Commons

> via BBC