Senate says France's fire-hit Notre-Dame must be rebuilt as it was

Decision reportedly is in conflict with President Emmanuel Macron's wish for 'an inventive reconstruction' of the structure

Notre-Dame de Paris caught fire on 15 April.
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Notre-Dame de Paris caught fire on 15 April.

The French Senate has approved its government’s Notre-Dame restoration bill already passed by the French parliament to complete rebuilding work by the Paris Olympics in 2024, with a clause that it be restored to its form prior to the fire that broke out in the cathedral on 15 April, effectively defying President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to rebuild the landmark with new designs, which included a rooftop garden, an “endless-spire of light”, and a swimming pool on top of the building. 

President Macron has called for “an inventive reconstruction” of the structure, whereas Mayor Anne Hidalgo had said she favoured an identical restoration.

Instead, the Senate has asked that the restoration sticks to the “last known visual state” of the cathedral, which collides with the plans of Presdient Macron's government, which has called on the global design community to contribute designs for the Notre-Dame's rebuild.

The Senate also did away with a clause that would allow the government to create an établissement public à caractère, or a public entity to oversee Notre-Dame’s reconstruction, which would have had the ability to override regulations on planning, environmental and heritage protection, and public tenders, a report in French news outlet The Local stated.

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