“The reopening of Notre-Dame (of Paris) in 2024 is a tense, rigorous and complicated objective”, estimated General Jean-Louis Georgelin, in charge of the restoration of the cathedral, this Friday, in an interview with Figaro.
Three years after the fire in the building, on April 15, 2019, the timetable is tight to meet Emmanuel Macron’s promise to rebuild the cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic art, in five years.
“Risks and difficulties”
“We will fight to win this battle, and to be able to open for worship, in 2024. On this date, Notre-Dame will be completely cleaned, to the point that visitors will have a visual shock when entering”, promises Jean-Louis Georgelin in this interview . “On a construction site, there are always hazards and difficulties,” he acknowledges. But, “until then, we have always found ways to adapt, to move forward and to listen to the indicators when they turned orange”, he adds.
“Since April 15, 2019, more than 846 million euros have been collected by 340,000 patrons and donors from 150 countries”, explains the president of the public establishment in charge of the restoration of the cathedral. Until August 2021, a first phase of work consisted of consolidating and securing the building (i.e. 150 million euros in expenditure).
“We will need 550 million euros to complete the interior cleaning of the cathedral, including the great organ, to restore the masonry and the vaults damaged by the fire, to reconstruct the frames, the roofs and the spire, or even, to renew the technical equipment,” said the general. “This figure takes into account forecast inflation. Like the other shipyards, we are currently experiencing a certain pressure on prices”, he specifies.
A visit by the Minister of Culture in the coming days
After this work, there should therefore remain 146 million euros which should be allocated to the restoration of the exterior. “The content of the future program of external works as well as its timetable must still be discussed with patrons, foundations, and of course, with the Ministry of Culture”, indicated Jean-Louis Georgelin.
The Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul Malak, should go “in the coming days” to the site, said those around her. The fire of Notre-Dame – the causes of which have still not been established with certainty – had caused the collapse of its frame, its spire, its clock and part of its vault, ravaged by the flames .