The pace of reconstruction efforts at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris allows it to reopen to visitors in December 2024, according to an official. The renewal after the fire in April 2019 is progressing quickly enough, it said on Monday. Military General Jean-Louis Georgelin, who commissioned the project, announced that a tower like the one that was destroyed will be on display again this year. That will "be the symbol that we're winning the fight at Notre-Dame," Georgelin said.
Reconstruction began last year. Before that, the safety precautions had been taken for a period of more than two years.
Notre-Dame dates from the 12th century and is considered a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. The then destroyed 93 meter high tower above the crossing was added in the 19th century. From Tuesday, visitors can explore the reconstruction in an exhibition in front of the cathedral. Traces of the fire and works of art from the cathedral should also be on display.
French culture minister Rima Abdul-Malak said the renovation would not be complete before it reopened. The cathedral will also be renovated in 2025. Georgelin said about 1,000 people were working daily in Paris and elsewhere in France to rebuild the cathedral. The executive director of the government agency behind the reconstruction, Philippe Jost, announced that the end result will match the original architecture. This will be the case, among other things, because building materials and methods are used as in the Middle Ages.