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Notre-Dame’s new spire revealed as scaffolding removed in Paris

by Staff

The reconstructed spire of Notre-Dame cathedral has been revealed in Paris, with a design identical to the 1859 version designed by architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc.

Scaffolding has been removed from around the 96-metre-tall spire, which is among the elements of the landmark to be reconstructed following the devastating fire in 2019.

Notre-Dame cathedral spire
Scaffolding has been removed from the rebuilt spire at Notre-Dame cathedral. Photo by Jmex via Wikimedia Commons.

It marks a major milestone in the iconic cathedral’s restoration, which French President Emmanuel Macron said would ensure the building was rebuilt “identically” to how it was before the 2019 fire.

Works were originally expected to be completed in time to reopen the cathedral for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, but it is now set to reopen in December 2024. However, scaffolding will remain on the building as renovation work is expected to continue until 2028.

It is crowned by a golden rooster

In the photos, the spire of Notre-Dame cathedral can be seen in full for the first time since its reconstruction was completed in December.

It is made of wood and modelled on the 1859 version by Viollet-le-Duc, which replaced the building’s original gothic version.

The rebuilt spire is topped with a recreation of the original cross, as well as a golden rooster designed by architect Philippe Villeneuve who is leading the renovation works.

Villeneuve said the rooster’s “wings of fire” are a reminder that “the cathedral can be reborn from the ashes, like a phoenix”, according to the BBC.

The spire’s scaffolding was removed last month

The fire that engulfed Notre-Dame cathedral in 2019 made international headlines, as the landmark building’s interior was left gutted and its roof and spire destroyed.

A flurry of designers offered proposals for a replacement spire, but speculation about its future ended when Macron confirmed it would be rebuilt identically.

However, its interiors are expected to be given a more tourist-friendly makeover in which confessional boxes, altars and classical sculptures will be replaced with modern art and light and sound effects.

As part of the restoration project, the forecourt and the surroundings of Notre-Dame cathedral are also being revamped.

Scheduled for completion in 2027, this will see Belgian architect Bas Smets revive the square facing the cathedral and transform an abandoned underground car park beneath it into a visitor centre.

The main render of Notre-Dame is by Alma Studio. 

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