Notre Dame – the fast-track to restoration

The French government’s aim to fast-track Notre Dame’s restoration has gained impetus, with a bill designed to speed up the famous cathedral’s reconstruction going before parliament in a few weeks.

The cathedral was badly damaged in a fire on 15 April.

The bill will allow the government to pass emergency orders regarding Notre Dame so that the country’s strict and lengthy processes surrounding the renovation of historic monuments can be bypassed.

Besides cutting red tape, the bill offers a legal framework to provide financial transparency for the project so it is clear where the huge amounts of money donated for the restoration will be spent.

If the bill becomes law, French President Emmanuel Macron’s goal of rebuilding the cathedral in just five years could become a reality.

He believes the work can be completed in this time, although many restoration experts dispute that.

Some architects and heritage experts have expressed concerns about the quality of the work to be done on the cathedral.

The work includes replacing the 19th-century spire, which collapsed during the fire and which will have to be redesigned. The French Government said it would accept proposals from architects around the world.

The 90-metre spire was one of Paris’s most recognisable landmarks.

France is split on whether the cathedral’s new ceiling and spire should be rebuilt as an exact replica, or with a bold new design for the modern age.

There is also widespread debate across France, with differing views over whether the restoration work should involve new technologies and designs.

Government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye said the government will focus on “respecting heritage”.


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