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France Is Seeking Designs for a New Notre-Dame Cathedral Spire

The French Prime Minister put out an international call for entries.


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In the aftermath of the horrific fire that claimed a large part of Notre-Dame Cathedral on April 15, the French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is looking ahead to how the iconic landmark can be rebuilt. BBC reports that the search is for “a new spire that is adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era.”

There are doubts about the new strategy, as the Chicago Tribune lists out in a recent article. Some are calling it a political publicity stunt while others wonder why the architectural masterpiece needs to see any change. But keep in mind the spire that tumbled to the ground during the fire wasn’t original to the cathedral’s foundation—it was added onto the design during the 19th century by French architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc.

The cooper cockerel statue that sat atop the spire was recovered and handed over to architect Philippe Villeneuve, who is in charge of the restoration project. Nearly $1 billion has been raised to fund the project, which Philippe has optimistically stated will take five years—experts argue that it could take decades before the building is repaired, according to BBC.

While there is no word yet on the competition guidelines or instructions on how to enter, it’s safe to say you can pull out your drafting kit and start getting those ideas on paper.


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