Notre Dame: Work Will Resume in Early 2021

June 26, 2020

On the anniversary of the consecration of the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, the Archbishop of Paris mentioned a probable resumption of work at the beginning of 2021. The whole question is whether the deadline for reconstruction in five years can be met.

For the second consecutive year, on June 16, 2020, Notre-Dame has been deprived of the celebration of its dedication. However, Archbishop Michel Aupetit went to the foot of his cathedral to celebrate the still standing vessel of stone. On this occasion, the Archbishop inaugurated an exhibition bringing together some 6,000 drawings of the emblematic sanctuary
of Paris, made by schoolchildren from all over France, but also from Germany, the United Kingdom, and distant Poland.

The prelate announced that reconstruction work may resume “in January 2021,” even while he admitted that “there are always possible risks.”

It is difficult to say whether the five-year deadline wanted by President Emmanuel Macron for the reconstruction of the building can be respected, especially after the delay due to the Covid-19 epidemic. Since the deconfinement, the last phase of the dismantling of the scaffolding has been able to resume, but many consolidations remain to be done.

In addition, the health protection protocol for workers and craftsmen on the site—the so-called “barrier” gestures and other preventative measures—make operations and interventions on the site more delicate, slower, and more costly.

Finally, the question of the new spire which is to crown the nave of the building—identical restoration or “reinvention”—is likely to distance the horizon of reopening of the cathedral in 2024, as still desired and believed by the head of state.