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October 16, 2019

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Notre-Dame’s scaffolds to be removed

Melted scaffolding atop fire-ravaged Notre-Dame Cathedral will be removed “in the coming weeks” to allow restoration work to begin next year, France’s culture minister said yesterday.

It’s been six months since an April 15 fire gutted the medieval Paris structure, which was under renovation at the time and crisscrossed with scaffolding where its spire once stood.

The twisted metal remained in place after the fire as engineers tried to determine whether removing it would exacerbate structural weaknesses from the blaze.

France’s Culture Minister Franck Riester said that before rebuilding can begin, several more months of conservation work done in parallel with an evaluation of the cathedral’s soundness need to be completed. “Our Notre-Dame de Paris is not yet totally saved,” Riester told reporters.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron promised in April that France’s beloved landmark would be restored within five years.

Critics say his timeline is overly ambitious.

The culture minister offered few hard deadlines.

He told reporters yesterday that the French government prioritizes quality over speed, although he said the five-year timeframe represents the state’s “ambition to mobilize.”

“For us, the top priority is to do a quality restoration that captures the height of what our history represents for our country, for Paris, for the Catholic religion, for Notre-Dame,” Riester said.


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