Legislators have passed a resolution that demands the cathedral be rebuilt “in the same way visually as before.”
Restoration of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris will proceed as a project of historical preservation. The French Senate has ended months of frantic speculation about how architects might radically alter the church’s exterior by voting to ensure that the cathedral must be restored “in the same way visually as before”1a fire eviscerated much of the landmark’s roof and spire this on April 15.
The decision effectively quashes the ambitious proposals offered by renowned architecture firms, including the United Kingdom’s Foster + Partners and France’s own Studio NAB. (The latter would have restored Notre-Dame’s roof as an educational greenhouse with a glass apiary as its spire.) More eccentric redesigns have included a spire of blinding white light and an entire rooftop covered in stained glass.
The senate and national assembly must now agree on a final resolution before ratifying the legislation. But not everybody in French parliament is happy with the plan. “[The government] must take the time necessary to rebuild this dazzling building”, said Sylvie Robert, Senate representative for Ille-et-Vilaine. “The [restoration project] must become a showcase, a showcase of our expertise in this field, a showcase that lives up to our reputation!” said Alain Schmitz, the representative for Yvelines, according to the Art Newspaper.
1. Based on what the French Senate is demanding, the Dutch design company Concr3De may already have a leg up on the competition.