President Emmanuel Macron had previously invited architects to come up with proposals for a “contemporary” touch to the cathedral.
Notre Dame Cathedral will be restored to its exact state before a 2019 fire destroyed its roof and spire, the French government announced on Thursday, according to a report in the Washington Post.
“The President of the Republic became convinced of the need to restore Notre-Dame de Paris as closely as possible to its last complete state, coherent and well-known, while betting on sustainable development in the choice of materials and site management,” read the statement from the Élysée Palace.
The decision ends an intense debate over whether the cathedral should be restored to its original state or modified to reflect modern sensibilities. Following the fire, French President Emmanuel Macron invited architects to submit proposals which he said, could add a “contemporary” touch to the renovation.
According to the Washington Post report, plans for a contemporary restoration were abandoned out of a desire not to further delay the restoration of the cathedral, which the government has promised will be completed in time for the 2024 Olympics. Work had been postponed due to France’s two-month long coronavirus lockdown.
The statement did include a concession to advocates of modernizing the cathedral, promising “redevelopment of the surroundings of the cathedral, in close collaboration with the city of Paris.”