An international design contest could be a disaster for Notre Dame

Notre Dame reimagined_image by David Deroo

Anglo-French architect David Deroo cautions against the hasty rush to rebuild the cathedral

Like most people, I was shocked to watch a fire turn centuries of history at Notre Dame de Paris into ashes. Now I am worried about what is about to happen next.

As a French artist and architect, the process of restoring one of our most sacred and historic landmarks raises a few questions in my mind – and a hasty rebuild isn’t the right answer to any of them.

France has already announced an international competition for the construction of the new spire, in the hope of leading people across Paris again to L’Île de la Cité. Hopefully the proposals it yields will highlight the uniqueness of Paris, its architecture, and the French culture, while retaining the great religious value of the cathedral. I am worried, however, that they won’t.

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