After withstanding significant damage from a fire in April 2019, Paris’ iconic Notre Dame Cathedral has undergone a substantial effort to return it to its former glory. Employing over 200 different companies and over 1,000 workers in almost daily restorative work, the reconstruction project headed by French General Jean-Louis Georgelin will allow the cathedral to reopen for visitors and the faithful by the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in December 2024.
Although the fire originally occurred in April 2019, the actual reconstruction of the cathedral didn’t begin until about two years later, partially due to the vigorous debate over whether the finished cathedral should resemble its original structure, or if it should have a more modern redesign, as was the wish of French President Emmanuel Macron. Ultimately those in favor of restoring the cathedral to its original design won out, and the exterior of the centuries-old medieval structure will look virtually the same as it was prior to the fire. Though the reconstruction is not yet completed, visitors to Paris can visit an exhibition called “Notre-Dame de Paris: at the Heart of the Construction Site,” which pays tribute to the building’s reconstruction. The exhibition, located in an underground room in front of the cathedral, is currently free and open to the public.