Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit confirmed that work on rebuilding the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris partially destroyed in the fire of 2019 can begin “in January 2021” after the phase of stabilizing the building has been completed.

“We are completing the stabilizing of the building. Logically we can start the works in January 2021”, he said to journalists at the opening of an exhibition of children’s drawings of the cathedral put up on the fence round the building site, attended by Jean Louis Georgelin who is overseeing the operations for the restoration of this jewel of Gothic art.

Reconstruction work has faced many problems. During last summer there were delays because of measures that had to be taken owing to lead pollution. Then in the autumn and winter that followed bad weather held up the works. In spring coronavirus brought all activity on the building site to a halt but managed to start up again recently, mainly with the last phase of the difficult operation of dismantling the charred metal scaffolding of the Notre Dame arch which began last week.

It is President Emmanuel Macron’s ambition to bring the cathedral back to life by 2024.