Only now, two years after the April 2019 blaze, the protective consolidation of Notre Dame in Paris has been finished, allowing restoration to start. After the fire,the French President Emmanuel Macron said the cathedral – which dates back to the 12th century – would be rebuilt. The final phase of efforts to secure its structure included reinforcing the fire-damaged vaults with wooden arches. The cathedral will be restored to its previous design, including the 96-meter (315ft) spire designed by the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in the mid-1800s. A cleaning operation for the building’s interior walls and floor will start this month. Work on some parts of the structure slowed in 2020 due to coronavirus lockdowns in Paris. Macron set a five-year restoration deadline, in time for the 2024 Paris Olympics but experts familiar with medieval restoration work say this timeline is unrealistic, and it could take about 15 to 20 years to rebuild the roof, spire, and parts of stone vaulting that fell through to the main sanctuary.
As of April 2021, 1,000 oak trees were cut from roughly 200 French forests to make the frame for the cathedral’s transept and spire. At least 400 new tradesmen would need to be trained to complete the work that needs to be done. Only the consolidation phase cost was 165 million euros (US$197 million). The total cost is expected to be enormous. Immediately after the fire, around $1 billion in donations poured in from individual contributors, as well as companies like Apple and Disney, several major French fashion houses, including Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, while Kering owns other luxury brands, such as Saint Laurent and Gucci.