Media captionThere were gasps from the crowd at the moment Notre-Dame’s spire fell
France is to invite architects from around the world to submit their designs for a new spire to sit atop a renovated Notre-Dame cathedral.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told reporters they hoped for “a new spire that is adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era”.
The spire was completely destroyed in the blaze that tore through the 850-year-old Gothic building’s roof.
The entire cathedral was minutes away from total destruction, officials say.
However, much of the Parisian building – including its famed towers – survived, and thoughts have now turned to how to reconstruct what has been lost.
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President Emmanuel Macron vowed it would be rebuilt “even more beautifully”, adding that he wanted the work done within five years – although experts warn its reconstruction could take decades.
The spire destroyed in the blaze was added to the cathedral during a 19th Century restoration project led by French architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc.
But Mr Philippe questioned “whether we should even recreate the spire as it was conceived by Viollet-le-Duc… or if, as is often the case in the evolution of heritage, we should endow Notre-Dame with a new spire”.
Meanwhile, a copper statue of a cockerel – a symbol of France – that topped the spire has been recovered from the rubble “battered but apparently restorable”, the culture ministry said. The cockerel contains holy relics, but it is not yet clear if these are still intact.
Jacques Chanut, president of the French Building Federation, tweeted a picture of the statue being carried by Philippe Villeneuve, the architect in charge of the renovation project.