France unveils international design competition for Notre Dame spire

France plans to hold an international competition to replace it
April 17, 2019 02:30PM

Notre-Dame Cathedral seen at sunrise following the major fire (Credit: Getty Images)

Notre-Dame Cathedral seen at sunrise following the major fire (Credit: Getty Images)

France plans to hold an international competition to come up with a replacement design for Notre Dame Cathedral’s spire, which was destroyed in a fire on Monday.

The competition will address whether the spire should be rebuilt at all and, if so, whether it or not it should be identical to the one destroyed, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The spire destroyed in Monday’s fire was a recreation from the 19th century of an older spire that became unstable and was taken down in the 18th century.

France’s goal is to rebuild the entire cathedral within five years, an ambitious time frame. Multiple experts told the Journal they would expect completion to take closer to 10 or 15 years.

“These buildings deserve to be looked after and repaired,” said John David, master stonemason who helped repair England’s York Minster cathedral after a fire. “There shouldn’t be any rush.”

French billionaires Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, and François-Henri Pinault, founder and CEO of Kering, announced Tuesday that they would donate a combined 300 million euros, or about $339 million, to restoration efforts. [WSJ] – Eddie Small