Moves for temporary 'wooden cathedral' in front of Notre-Dame

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The rector of Notre-Dame, Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, has said that a wooden structure to receive worshippers should be erected in front of the fire-damaged 850-year-old cathedral while it is repaired, which is expected to take at least five years.

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A temporary wooden cathedral should be built in the shadow of Notre-Dame's famed towers while the building is being repaired, officials have said, reports BBC News.

The structure would serve as a home for worshippers and tourists alike, the rector of the Paris landmark, Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, suggested.

The 850-year-old Gothic cathedral has been closed after a fire tore through its roof and destroyed its spire.

French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed it will reopen in five years. But temporary arrangements will need to be made in the meantime, Monsignor Chauvet told France's CNews.

"We mustn't say 'the cathedral is closed for five years and that's it'," he said. "Can I not build an ephemeral cathedral on the esplanade [in front of Notre-Dame]?" he added.

The wooden structure, Monsignor Chauvet said, should be "beautiful, symbolic and attractive". Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is understood to have given her approval to the idea, which is not the first of its kind. After the cathedral in New Zealand's Christchurch was destroyed in a 2011 earthquake, which left 185 people dead, a temporary structure was built.

Meanwhile, some in France have reacted negatively to the government's plan to invite architects from around the world to submit their designs for a new spire.

The spire, which was added to the cathedral during a 19th Century restoration project led by French architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc, was completely destroyed when the fire took hold on Monday. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told reporters on Wednesday he hoped for "a new spire that is adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era"

Read more of this report from BBC News.

 

 

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