Notre Dame still not safe enough for restoration work, says architect

By Associated Press Reporter

A French architect says that Notre Dame Cathedral is still not safe enough for restoration work to begin.

French television showed the chief architect of France’s historic monuments, Philippe Villeneuve, taking culture minister Franck Riester on a tour of the cathedral, which President Emmanuel Macron wants restored in five years.

He said that “we are still in extreme urgency of securing the site”.

Wooden supporting arches are being placed under the 28 buttresses, without anchoring them in stone. A robot was helping to clear debris on the lower level of the cathedral.

French Culture Minister Franck Riester, second left, listens to French chief architect of historical sites Philippe Villeneuve (Stephane de Sakutin/Pool via AP)

The minister said that the safety and quality of the restoration “is what counts” despite the goal of finishing the repairs by 2024.