Since the adoption of the 1905 law on separation of church and state, which formalized laïcité, a strict form of public secularism, religious buildings in France have been property of the state.
In December, the cathedral's rector expressed concern that the Church is still at risk of destruction and may not be able to be reconstructed safely.
The church "is not out of danger," Monsignor Patrick Chauvet said to the Associated Press Dec. 24. "It will be out of danger when we take out the remaining scaffolding."
"Today we can say that there is maybe a 50% chance (the cathedral) will be saved," said Chauvet. "There is also (a) 50% chance of scaffolding falling onto the three vaults, so as you can see, the building is still very fragile," he added.
The scaffolding, present at the time of the fire on April 15, had melted together, and there are still about 551 tons of metal still present on top of the cathedral.
He said that after the scaffolding has been removed, the team will be able to better assess the state of the cathedral and begin the restoration. He said the scaffold will not likely be removed until 2021 and does not think the cathedral will be completed in time for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, as French president Emmanuel Macron has vowed.