Notre Dame Cathedral to welcome back visitors in December 2024

© Joel Saget, AFP

The reconstruction of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is going fast enough to allow its reopening to visitors and faithful at the end of 2024, less than six years after a fire ravaged its roof, French officials said Monday.

The cathedral's iconic spire, which collapsed in the blaze, will gradually start reappearing above the monument this year in a powerful signal of its revival, the army general in charge of the colossal project, Gen. Jean-Louis Georgelin, said.

“The return of the spire in Paris’ sky will in my opinion be the symbol that we are winning the battle of Notre Dame," he told the Associated Press.

The reconstruction itself started last year, after more than two years of work to make the monument stable and secure enough for artisans to start rebuilding it.

Authorities have made the choice to rebuild the 12th century monument, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the way it was before. That includes recreating the 93-meter-high (315 ft) spire added in the 19th century by architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc.

Meanwhile, an exhibition called “Notre-Dame de Paris: at the heart of the construction site” is to open to visitors on Tuesday in an underground facility in front of the cathedral. Accessible for free, it highlights ongoing operations on the site and the expertise and skills of workers. It also features some remains from the fire and works of art from the cathedral.

“My job is to be ready to open this cathedral in 2024. And we will do it," Gen. Georgelin said. "We are fighting every day for that and we are on a good path.”

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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