France launches competition to redesign Notre Dame spire


French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe has invited architects from around the world to submit their designs for a new spire which will sit on top of the Notre Dame cathedral

The international architectural competition is to redesign the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire ravaged the structure.

The French PM Édouard Philippe told reporters they hoped for “a new spire that is adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era”.

Philippe said an estimation of the cost of rebuilding the cathedral had yet to be made. French billionaires and multinationals have so far raised €880m (~£761m) for the restoration.

The PM promised “every euro paid for the construction of Notre Dame will serve this purpose and nothing else”, while also announcing a tax reduction for those donating towards the reconstruction.

Emmanuel Macron, the French President, assured the nation that the Notre Dame would be rebuilt, within five years.

Notre Dame’s rector said he expected the building to remain closed to the public for five to six years.

Philippe declared, “whether we should even recreate the spire as it was conceived by Viollet-le-Duc… or if, as is often the case in the evolution of heritage, we should endow Notre Dame with a new spire”.

A fire service spokesman said there was no immediate danger that the structure, which lost two-thirds of its roof in the fire, would collapse.

Investigators said they believe the fire was an accident and spoke to around 30 witnesses on Tuesday (16 April), including employees of companies involved in a €150m restoration programme.


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