French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday hailed strenuous efforts to rebuild Notre-Dame de Paris, two years after the centuries-old attic of the cathedral erupted and caused its summit to collapse under the vaults.
In the hours after the fire, Macron told a defeated nation that the 12th century cathedral would be restored, and later promised to reopen it to the faithful until 2024.
After more than 700 days of workers seeking to shore up Notre Dame’s flying buttresses, preserving the rose-tinted 13th-century stained-glass windows and installing motion sensors, efforts to make the venue safe before renovation are nearly complete.
On a rooftop platform, the president, wearing overalls and a safety helmet, spied over the destroyed wing of the cathedral and thanked the workers present.
“Everyone remembers where they were two years ago, the feelings of all Catholics, all Parisians and all the French people,” Macron told a group of workers, with the capital’s skyline in the background.
“We all liked what we see, from the work done in two years. Bravo, thank you.
Technicians have yet to reinforce some of the vaults closer to the ones destroyed with arched wooden shapes held in place by cranes, and an extension of a canvas roof over the pavilion to protect the renovation work once it begins.
“The cathedral has not moved since the fire broke out, it is holding up,” said Jeremy Patrer Lettus, a spokesman for the public authority that oversees the renovation work.