Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris is on track to reopen to worshipers and the public in 2024, Culture Minister Rima Abdul Malak said on Thursday, more than three years after its roof was destroyed by a massive fire.
She said the cleanup phase of the restoration project had ended, allowing reconstruction to begin at the end of the summer.
Notre-Dame has been closed for restoration since the 2019 fire gutted the roof and caused the spire to collapse, much to the horror of onlookers and those watching on television and social media in France and around the world.
“We are confident that 2024 will be the year in which much of this work is completed, the year of the cathedral’s reopening to the faithful and to the public,” said Abdul Malak as she visited the site.
Shortly after the fire in April 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron said the cathedral – which dates back to the 12th century – would be rebuilt and later promised to reopen it to worshipers by 2024, when France hosts the Olympics.
The cathedral will be restored to its previous design, including the 96-meter spire designed by architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc in the mid-19th century and for which new wood has been selected.
Following completion of the security phase in 2021 and work to clean up the cathedral’s interior, reconstruction will mainly include rebuilding the wooden roof structure, vaults and spire.