French Senate approves Bill on reconstruction of Notre Dame cathedral

The Bill, calling for swift reconstruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral, was approved by French lawmakers earlier in the month.
The Bill, calling for swift reconstruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral, was approved by French lawmakers earlier in the month.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (DPA) - The French Senate passed a Bill late on Monday (May 27) approving the reconstruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris following the fire last month that destroyed its roof and spire.

The Bill was passed after a lengthy debate, French news agency AFP reported.

The Bill, calling for swift reconstruction of the landmark, was approved by French lawmakers earlier in the month. It included controversial exemptions to environmental and heritage rules and exemptions to the public bidding process for contractors.

A statement released by the Senate late on Monday said that the Upper Chamber adopted the National Assembly's Bill "with modifications", without going into detail.

An opinion poll published in April showed most respondents want the cathedral rebuilt exactly as it was before the fire.

President Emmanuel Macron has announced an international competition that he says could lead to replacing the destroyed spire with a "contemporary architectural statement".

The spire, which stood 93 metres high over the central crossing of the cathedral, was itself the work of 19th century restorer Eugene Viollet le Duc.

 
 

An earlier medieval spire was demolished in the 18th century.

Mr Macron wants the restoration work completed in five years, although several experts say that timetable is too ambitious.