France is to open up the redesign of the roof of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris to international architects, after a fire on Monday destroyed the building’s oak-framed roof and 300 ft spire.
Prime Minister Edouard Phillippe said: “The international competition will allow us to ask the question of 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.”
A spokesman for France’s fire service said there is no immediate danger that the 850 year-old stone superstructure would collapse. Statues have being removed to reduce the risk of movement now it was no longer supported by the roof.
The repair fund has reached a billion Euros already following some major donations, and French president Emanuel Macron has promised that the famous church will be restored within five years. However restoration experts and architects have questioned the feasibility of the timescale. Emily Guerry, professor of medieval history at the University of Kent, predicted the project would take around two decades to complete.