The French Senate has passed a bill saying Notre-Dame Cathedral must be rebuilt as it was before the fire, which destroyed its roof and spire last month.
The restoration bill states that the reconstruction must create a cathedral that is faithful to the “last known visual state” of the building.
It also says that the restoration must recreate Eugène Viollet-le-Duc’s spire, and that any use of new materials will need to be justified.
The French Senate – the upper house of the French parliament. Senators added the clauses to the bill created by the National Assembly, the French parliament’s lower house.
Now members of both chambers have to agree on the text before the bill can move forward. Once passed by both houses, it will determine how the restoration of the state-owned building proceeds.
If the bill progresses in its current state, it would end the speculation over how the cathedral will be rebuilt.
It would seem to go against the desires of both France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, and prime minister, Edouard Philippe.
Last month, Philippe announced an international architects’ competition to rebuild, and perhaps refashion, the fallen spire, which was added during a 19th-century renovation of the 850-year-old cathedral.
The restoration bill will allow work on the cathedral to be completed in time for the Summer Olympics being held in Paris in 2024, which falls in line with French President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to have the structure rebuilt in 5 years. In April he said that when it is rebuilt, it should be “even more beautiful.”