PARIS, France: Work to shore up Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has been finished, allowing the long-awaited restoration to begin, two years after a fire destroyed the attic and sent its spire crashing through the vaults below.
Shortly after the April 2019 fire, French president Emmanuel Macron, said the nearly 1,000 year old cathedral would be rebuilt by 2024 when France hosts the Olympic Games.
Critical preparation work included reinforcing the fire-damaged vaults with wooden arches, the state agency leading the work said. The agency noted that it was on schedule to meet Macron's 2024 reopening.
The restoration will ensure Notre Dame is rebuilt based upon its original design, including the 315 foot spire designed by architect Eugne Viollet-le-Duc in the mid-1800s.
A bidding process will begin shortly to select construction companies, with restoration beginning within months.
Additionally, interior walls and floors will be commercially cleaned to remove smoke and soot beginning this mon