PARIS, April 28. /TASS/. A total of 1,170 domestic and foreign experts signed an appeal to French President Emmanuel Macron to avoid haste while rebuilding the iconic Notre-Dame cathedral damaged by a fire earlier this month.
According to the open letter, published by Le Figaro, the president’s plans to complete restoration works in five years "evoked great surprise and concern in people from various countries, who engage in professional reconstruction of cultural heritage objects."
"Those prominent experts call for caution and responsibility while fulfilling this task," the paper said.
"The desire to make loud statements about the efficiency of actions should not overshadow the fact that first of all this task requires a very complicated analysis," the letter reads. "Let us not make haste and take the time to determine the best way carry to out this work. Only then we can speak of timeframes for a flawless reconstruction of the cathedral."
The experts also criticized the French government’s plans to cancel several decrees streamlining reconstruction works in order to speed up the process of rebuilding Notre-Dame.
"We realize that in this case, the calendar of political events necessitates quick action. We realize the negative effect that the damaged cathedral’s view may have on France’s image. But the importance of the work to take place in the cathedral in the coming years makes us realize that any timeframes should be disregarded. The importance of this effort by far exceeds the importance of political mandates," they said. "The opinion that future generations will have about us will be based on the results of this work."
At the same time, the experts admitted they "can offer no concrete solution to date."
"The initial examination should continue for as long as it takes, without haste but also without delays," the letter reads.
The fire at Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral broke out at 18:50 local time on Monday, April 15. Due to fierce blaze, the building’s spire and most of the roof collapsed, but the interior remained largely intact. French authorities and private donors have pledged hundreds of millions of euros to rebuild one of the French capital’s most important landmarks.