French Senate rejects "inventive reconstruction" of Notre Dame Cathedral

June 6, 2019

The French Senate recently passed a restoration bill mandating Notre Dame Cathedral be rebuilt to its “last known visual state” before the roof and spire was damaged by fire in April, according to www.dwell.com.

The decision marks a turning point in the ongoing debate regarding whether the 856-year-old cathedral should be rebuilt as it was or be modernized.

After French president Emmanuel Macron suggested “an inventive reconstruction” and Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced an international competition to redesign the cathedral’s main spire, architects and designers from throughout the world offered fantastical designs for the roof’s reconstruction.

Popular proposals included an urban greenhouse, a completely glazed roof and spire and a roof made of Baccarat crystal.

Still, the majority of the French public polled in a survey reported by France 24 likely would support the French Senate’s mandate; only a quarter of French adults polled supported a reconstruction with a modern “architectural gesture.”