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France to design a new spire for Notre-Dame Cathedral

18 Apr 2019, 22:07 GMT+10

PanARMENIAN.Net - France is planning an architectural competition to design a replacement spire for Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, after the old one collapsed during the fire, Dezeen reports.

French prime minister Edouard Philippe announced the news to journalists, reported the BBC. He said that, instead of simply recreating the original spire, they want a new design 'adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era'.

He said they will be putting out an international call. 'As is often the case in the evolution of heritage, we should endow Notre-Dame with a new spire,' he told reporters.

The spire dramatically collapsed in front of crowds, who had gathered to watch in horror as the historic French gothic cathedral went up in flames.

Images of the moment it toppled into the flames were splashed across social media and newspaper front pages.

However this spire was not an original part of the cathedral, which was built in the 12 and 13th centuries. The first spire is believed to have been part of the roof between the 13th and 18th centuries, but was removed due to wind damage.

French architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc added a new spire over the transept as part of his restoration in the 19th century.

Made from oak covered with lead, the spire was 90 metres tall and weighed 750 tonnes. It was decorated with 12 copper statues and topped by a copper rooster holding three relics.

The 16 figures were not destroyed when the spire fell, as they had been airlifted for restoration just days before the fire. A slightly flattened cockerel has been recovered from the wreckage.

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