€800m pledged to rebuild Notre-Dame

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France's President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild the 12th-century building within five years. The game includes a recreation of the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

"This is obviously a huge challenge, a historic responsibility", he said.

"It's a fundamental step, and very complex, because it's hard to send workers into a monument whose vaulted ceilings are swollen with water", Pericolo told France-Info.

France has begun the process of rebuilding the damage to Notre Dame Cathedral with an announcement today of a contest for worldwide architects to redesign the cathedral's destroyed spire.

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Some of France's wealthiest families have been fundraising to help rebuild the Paris landmark, too. Gabriel Plus said that even though they are "in good condition ... there is a risk for the gables that are no longer supported by the frame". Recreating it fell mainly to artist Caroline Miousse, who worked with a team including Durand and a texture artist for 14 months.

Notre Dame was completed in 1345, and is regarded as one of the foremost Christian houses of worship.

"I've been meeting with the platforms yesterday", O said. Concrete was used in the subsequent reconstruction of gables and roof beams. "They are holding up all by themselves", he said, adding that some statues must be removed to lessen the weight on the gables.

He said that the scaffolding "has been somewhat deformed through heat damage" during the catastrophic fire that tore through the oak-framed roof and will need to be removed. And when there is construction, he said, "the building is exposed to all sorts of risky activity".

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Mr Heitz said there were no indications that the blaze was started deliberately.

The spire the contest will be replacing wasn't as old as the church itself. As it stands, some $1.38 billion has been promised towards the restoration funds.

Presidential cultural heritage envoy Stephane Bern told broadcaster France-Info on Wednesday that 880 million euros ($995 million) has been raised so far. "People should be able to make donations through whatever means they want to use".

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