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French minister: Consensus that Notre Dame should be restored faithfully

French minister: Consensus that Notre Dame should be restored faithfully
Firefighters battle to extinguish a giant fire that engulfed the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15, 2019. Experts are debating on how best to restore the damaged building. File Photo by Eco Clement/UPI | License Photo

July 9 (UPI) -- While there's still some debate over what materials to use, France's incoming culture minister said Thursday there's consensus among experts and the public that Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral should be restored to its former appearance.

Roseline Bachelot told French radio that most of those surveyed don't favor a more modern rehabilitation of the church's roof and spire as suggested by French President Emmanuel Macron.

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These structures were completely destroyed in April 2019 when a fire engulfed the historic building. Macron has said he'd like for it to be completely rehabilitated before the 2024 Summer Olympics, which Paris will host.

In the months since the fire, though, experts, architects, historians, leaders and the public have debated the best way to rebuild the 12th century cathedral. Macron called for a contemporary structure atop the building, saying that the spire that was destroyed was part of a 19th century restoration and wasn't original to the building.

Others have recommended a glass roof and spire, an enclosed park and even a swimming pool.

But Bachelot said "there was a large consensus in public opinion and among those deciding" that the roof and spire should be rebuilt as it was before the fire.

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Philippe Villeneuve, France's chief architect for historic monuments, also was expected to support the original spire and roof to the National Heritage and Architecture Commission.

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