President visits Notre-Dame restoration work

Heritage – Notre-Dame Cathedral, two years after the fire – Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic

Paris, 15 April 2021

Two years ago, a violent fire devastated the upper part of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. The people of Paris, France and the whole world watched Notre-Dame’s spire fall and a whole heritage disappear with it.

Nearly 500 firefighters were involved. For seven hours these women and men took part in an extremely complex operation and showed exemplary courage and determination. Exceptional resources were put in place. Their comrades from the police, the Culture Ministry, Paris City Hall, the emergency services and the Red Cross were also involved alongside them, particularly in evacuating the cathedral and rescuing the artworks.

President Emmanuel Macron visited the Notre-Dame building site, two years after the tragedy. He wanted to reiterate his thanks to everyone who helped save the cathedral from the flames and all those working daily on its restoration.

The rebuilding effort is a tremendous human and collective adventure. It is a catalyst of goodwill, expertise and skills. Many professions – carpenters, scaffolders, rope technicians, crane operators, organ builders, master glassmakers and many others – are actively involved.

Despite many constraints – lead, the health crisis and the dangerous-building order –, construction work has made good progress. The phase of making the building safe, which began the day after the fire, is now nearing completion. It is due to be completed in summer 2021 when the final two stages – making the vaulted ceiling safe and erecting an umbrella over the transept crossing – will be finished.

The actual restoration phase can then get under way in winter 2021. As approved by the President on 9 July 2020, the external architecture will be rebuilt identically.

The goal is still the same: to reopen for worship and to the public in 2024.

The President was also keen to pay tribute to the 340,000 donors worldwide who have made this construction work possible. They come from 150 countries and have raised €833 million in donations.

As he said last year on the first anniversary of the fire, the COVID-19 pandemic must not make us forget the national efforts being made to rebuild Notre-Dame./.

Published on 19/04/2021

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