The President of France, Emmanuel Macron has vowed that France would rebuild the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral within five years, after a fire ravaged the ancient place of worship on Monday.
“We will rebuild Notre-Dame even more beautifully and I want it to be completed in five years, we can do it,” President Macron said – a target which, if fulfilled, which would coincide with Paris hosting the Summer Olympics in 2024.
“It is up to us to convert this disaster into an opportunity to come together, having deeply reflected on what we have been and what we have to be and become better than we are. It is up to us to find the thread of our national project.”
There’s no shortage of enthusiasm to help heal Notre-Dame’s wounds – donations have poured in from around the world for the restoration efforts, with more than €800m pledged by French tycoons and global corporations.
However, in comments to AFP, Eric Fischer, head of the foundation in charge of restoring Strasbourg’s 1,000-year-old cathedral, said that rebuilding Notre-Dame may take "decades".
Meanwhile, Frédéric Létoffé, the head of the group of companies for the Restoration of Historic Monuments, estimated that between 10 and 15 years were needed, especially since the site would need to be fully secured before restoration could begin.