A choice of continuity, which should reassure the companies involved in the Notre-Dame de Paris restoration project. 20 days after the sudden death of General Georgelin, the President of the Republic decided to appoint Philippe Jost as his successor. “The presidential choice is not only a decision of continuity, but also a mark of loyalty to the general” say those around Emmanuel Macron.
The general's right-hand man in the Public Establishment for the Restoration and Conservation of the Cathedral for four years, Philippe Jost knows the intricacies of the work inside out. A 63-year-old polytechnician with a reputation as a hard worker, Jost has spent his entire career in defence.
It was the General who had this discreet man come to him to straighten out the cathedral. He formed a solid tandem with him. Jean-Louis Georgelin had a strong character and took center stage, leaving Philippe Jost to manage the business and the technicality of the operations.
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Although the Army and the Archbishop of Paris pleaded for the President of the Republic to appoint a soldier again, it would have been difficult to find a “clone” of the general. The historic monument companies and the cathedral architects also feared that a newcomer would waste time, while deadlines were running out. The construction site is entering its final stretch, with the cathedral due to reopen to the public and worship in December 2024. There was no question of destabilizing the collective momentum that currently reigns there. “I went there after the death of the General, and I felt a unity around Philippe Jost, everyone highlighting their bond of trust with the latter” testifies the Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul Malak. All the major patrons and foundations had also expressed their wish to see Jost take over the reins of the public establishment.