Paris, France, Jul 17, 2019 / 11:45 am
France’s Parliament on Tuesday passed a bill on the rebuilding of Notre-Dame Cathedral— three months after a fire destroyed the church’s roof— even amid disagreement on the best way to proceed with the restoration.
The April 15 fire destroyed the wooden roof of the cathedral as well as a spire that was added to the 800-year-old church during a 19th century renovation.
The bill establishes a legal framework for the distribution of funds donated for the cathedral's renovation.
The French Senate first approved the bill May 27, which at the time mandated that the rebuilding be faithful to Notre-Dame's “last known visual state.”
Yesterday’s bill passed the National Assembly by a 99-8-33 vote. The architectural form of the reconstruction is not directly addressed in the text of the new law, AFP reports.
The government of President Emmanuel Macron had previously initiated an architectural competition to submit a variety of suggestions for the restoration; Macron has also called for “an inventive reconstruction” of the cathedral with a more contemporary design.
Macron has said that he intends the restoration to take five years. Critics in parliament reportedly complained that the project was being rushed in order to have the construction finished in time for Paris’ 2024 hosting of the Olympic Games.
"The hardest thing is now ahead of us. We need to strengthen the cathedral for ever and then restore it," Culture Minister Franck Riester said as the bill was passed, as reported by AFP.