1100 experts call for time to rebuild Notre Dame well

Elias Hubbard
April 30, 2019

Over 1,000 experts are openly opposing the French President's plan to rebuild Notre-Dame cathedral within five years.

Some 1,170 leading academics and architects from France, Britain, the United States and other countries signed an open letter in Le Figaro newspaper on Monday pleading for the French government to allow time to decide how to tackle the restoration. The cause of the blaze which scarred "Our Lady" of Paris remains unknown, but may have been the result of an electrical short-circuit.

The letter criticizes Macron's televised address in which he vowed that France would rebuild the Medieval landmark, making it "more lovely than ever". They called for time to undertake all the proper analyses and make the best choices for the reconstruction of the cathedral after the fire on April 15.

The statement said precautions will be taken to protect workers when Notre Dame is rebuilt. "Let us not hide the complexity of the thinking involved in this reconstruction behind a fa├žade of efficiency".

The experts wrote that they know the political calendar requires quick action, but that the challenge of the work goes far beyond political terms of office, and they will be judged by how they respond. An inferno that raged through Notre Dame Cathedral for more than 12 hours destroyed its spire and its roof but spared its twin medieval bell towers, and a frantic rescue effort saved the monument's "most precious treasures", including the Crown of Thorns purportedly worn by Jesus, officials said Tuesday. The influx of proposals have sparked a fierce debate over whether the lost roof and spire should be faithfully restored as close to the original as possible or radically changed to reflect a new time.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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