‘We will rebuild’: Macron vows to restore Notre-Dame within five years

Light of truth

President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild Notre-Dame “even more beautifully” within five years, as all of France’s cathedrals prepared to ring their bells on Wednesday to mark 48 hours since the colossal fire began.

The blaze on 15th April gutted the great Paris landmark, destroying the roof, causing the steeple to collapse and leaving France reeling with shock.

Macron announced the fast timescale for restoration — a process some experts said would take decades — in an address to the nation where he hailed how the disaster had shown the capacity of France to mobilise and unite. Pledges worth around 700 million euros ($790 million) have already been made from French billionaires and businesses to restore the Gothic masterpiece.

An unknown number of artefacts and paintings have been lost and the main organ, which had close to 8,000 pipes, has also suffered damage. But the cathedral’s walls, bell towers and the most famous circular stained-glass windows at France’s most vi-sited tourist attraction remain intact.

Macron’s defiant comm-ents indicated he wants the reconstruction of the cathedral to be completed by the time Paris hosts the Olympic Games in 2024.

“We will rebuild the cathedral even more beautifully and I want it to be finished within five years,” Macron said from the Elysee Palace. “And we can do it.”

Macron said that the dramatic fire had brought out the best in a country driven by divisions and since last November shaken by some-times violent protests against his rule.

“Our history never stops and that we will always have trials to overcome,” he added. The bells of all cathedrals in France will sound at 6:50 pm (1650 GMT) on Wednesday, 48 hours after the fire started.

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