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Notre Dame fire: Competition launched to replace iconic spire

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It’s part of the French government’s pledge to rebuild within five years

Smoke billows as flames burn through the roof of the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral on April 15, 2019, in the French capital Paris. 
AFP/Getty Images

The French government has launched an international competition to redesign the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral, a centerpiece of the recently fire-damaged Gothic church that lost much of its roof during a tragic blaze on Monday evening.

Last night, French prime minister Édouard Philippe said the competition’s aim is “giving Notre Dame a spire adapted to [the] techniques and challenges of our times,” according to a CNBC report.

News of the contest follows French President Emmanuel Macron’s pledge that Notre Dame will be rebuilt in five years. While preliminary examinations of the cathedral are still taking place, many experts have said they believe full repairs and restoration may be on a much longer timeline, some even saying decades, based on the craftsmanship and care taken during the process.

Neither Macron nor other French leaders have provided an estimate of the cost of the renovation work.

The spire’s collapse, captured on video and watched by a shocked global audience via social media, was one of the most dramatic moments of the Notre Dame fire.

Designed by French architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century, the recently lost spire was itself the result of a design competition by the national government, then seeking to replace an earlier spire that was removed in the 18th century due to structural instability.