France announces international architects’ competition to rebuild Notre-Dame’s spire

France’s Prime Minister has announced an international architects’ competition to rebuild Notre-Dame de Paris after its spire collapsed in a fire.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said that France will open the redesign of Notre-Dame to architects, following the blaze on Monday (April 15).

President Emmanuel Macron also stated in a TV address on Tuesday (April 16) that Notre-Dame would be rebuilt within five years and said that it should be rebuilt “even more beautifully”.

€800 million (£692 million) has already been pledged by business tycoons and companies to help rebuild the cathedral.

The spire was added during a 19th-century renovation of the 850-year-old cathedral. It was nearly 300 feet tall, with a structure made of wood and lead.

Recreating the spire

“The international competition will allow us to ask the question of whether we should even recreate the spire as it was conceived by [Eugène] Viollet-le-Duc,” the prime minister told reporters (via Reuters).

“Or if, as is often the case in the evolution of heritage, we should endow Notre-Dame with a new spire,” he continued. “This is obviously a huge challenge, a historic responsibility.”

Meanwhile, a copper statue of a cockerel – a symbol of France – that topped the landmark’s spire has been recovered from the rubble.

Europa-Park and Chester Zoo fires

Elsewhere, Europa-Park’s 30-year-old Pirates of Batavia boat ride was destroyed in a huge fire at the German theme park in May 2018.

Michael Mack recently revealed the design of the new ride in a first-look image posted to his Twitter account. Owned and operated by the Mack family, Europa-Park was founded in 1975.

In December, Chester Zoo released images of the animals relocated following a fire at the attraction.