Around $1 billion in donations have poured in for the vast restoration of the fire-ravaged Notre Dame cathedral — but a pledge by French President Emmanuel Macron that it will be completed within five years is under doubt and was facing accusations of being wildly off track.
The renovations to restore iconic 19th century spire, vaulting and two-thirds of the cathedral’s roof would be completed in time for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
“We will rebuild the cathedral to be even more beautiful and I want it to be finished within five years,” Macron said.
However, officials reported that the ambitious timeline appears insufficient for such a massive operation. Even French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe — while supporting the government timeline — acknowledged in an address today that it would be difficult.
“This is obviously an immense challenge, a historic responsibility,” Philippe said.