French Parliament to Restore Notre Dame to Original Schematics

The French Parliament has declared that due to its Unesco World Heritage Status, the Notre Dame Cathedral will be rebuilt in the same style of the original building.

This decision came about on July 16, approximately 95 days after the fire. A new law effectively dismissed all new submissions for the reconstruction of the Cathedral, and created a new agency that serves the purpose of oversight and coordination of the entire operation.

This new agency will be headed and masterminded by French President Emmanuel Macron. Such responsibilities would normally fall under the purview of the French Ministry of Culture, but the new law gives authority strictly to Macron.

“The main decision-making figure will be its chairman, appointed by decree, who is most likely to be General Jean-Louis Georgelin, a battle-hardened veteran, former head of the joint chiefs of staff of the French armies, and, until 2016, in the powerful position of chancellor of the order of the Légion d’Honneur, the top French order of merit,” as reported by The Art Newspaper. “General Georgelin will report directly to the president and supervise the entire operation.”

Belgian artist Wim Delvoye was one of many who expressed concern with remodeling in the exact same fashion as the original cathedral.

“Having it like it was before the fire is not original,” said Delvoye. He added, “If wood is used, it will be an ecological disaster. My design would [be for] a 100 ton-spire, using just steel.”

Now that the decision for reconstruction is final, who will be chosen to carry out this job? The issue the French face is finding a firm that has the capability as a general contractor. The existing French firms have only had to deal with restorations that are a fraction of the size relative to what it will take to rebuild Notre Dame.

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