French Senate okays Bill on Notre Dame restoration

Repairs and renovations are under way at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The landmark building lost its roof and spire in a huge fire last month, and an opinion poll shows that most respondents want the cathedral rebuilt exactly as it was before the d
Repairs and renovations are under way at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The landmark building lost its roof and spire in a huge fire last month, and an opinion poll shows that most respondents want the cathedral rebuilt exactly as it was before the devastating blaze. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

PARIS • The French Senate has passed a Bill 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, Agence France-Presse reported.

The measure, calling for swift reconstruction of the landmark, had been approved by French lawmakers earlier in the month.

It included controversial exemptions to environmental and heritage rules as well as exemptions to the public bidding process for contractors.

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

An opinion poll published last month 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 93m high over the central crossing of the cathedral, was the work of 19th-century restorer Eugene Viollet le Duc.

An earlier mediaeval 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.

DPA

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 29, 2019, with the headline 'French Senate okays Bill on Notre Dame restoration'. Print Edition | Subscribe