France to restore Notre-Dame Cathedral as it was before inferno

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PARIS (REUTERS) – Paris’ centuries-old Notre-Dame Cathedral will be rebuilt as it was before being engulfed in a fire last year, the public body in charge of its restoration said on Thursday (July 9).

The April 15, 2019 blaze gutted the Gothic landmark and major tourist attraction, destroying the spire and roof in a disaster that stunned the nation.

A national heritage and architectural commission approved plans to restore the cathedral to its last “complete, coherent and known” state, including the spire, the restoration body said in a statement.

President Emmanuel Macron promised after the fire to rebuild Notre-Dame within five years, and later suggested that a contemporary design could be used for the spire.

Church officials hope Notre-Dame will be open for mass by 2024, when Paris is due to host the Olympic Games.

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