France to launch int'l competition to rebuild Notre Dame

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A bouquet of flowers is seen in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, on April 17, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

France will launch an international competition to re-design the spire of Notre Dame of Paris Cathedral which collapsed in a devastating fire Monday evening, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on Wednesday.

"An international competition to rebuild the cathedral's spire will be organized. (It) will allow us to ask the question of whether we should even create the same spire as it was conceived by Viollet-le-Duc (in 19th century)," Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told reporters.

"Or if, as is often the case in the evolution of heritage, we should create a new spire adapted to the techniques and challenges of our period," he said after a weekly cabinet meeting devoted on the reconstruction of Notre Dame.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday vowed to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral within five years. The prime minister said that the government's mission was "to make sure that this objective is achieved."

Philippe added a draft bill would be presented next week to the government to define a legal framework to the donations related to the cathedral's restoration to guarantee transparency.

"Every euro donated for the reconstruction of Notre Dame will be used for this end and not for anything else," he vowed. (1 euro = 1.13 U.S. dollar)

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