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Restoration of Notre Dame de Paris enters its final stage

The cathedral will open to the public on the fifth anniversary of the fire, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo promised in a statement

PARIS, April 15. /TASS/. Restoration efforts at the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris have entered the final stage after the installation of the spire, a TASS correspondent reports.

Tribunes have been built for Parisians and tourists coming to Notre Dame Cathedral to watch the restoration process.

Stands showing photos of the previous stages of restoration have been set up around the cathedral. Cranes are working on the site, with efforts currently focused on restoring the roof of the building.

Although Notre Dame is still closed, people come to the site to take photos and visit the square where France's zero kilometer is located. From there, all distances in the republic are measured. "Just like for all Parisians, the fire of five years ago was a huge shock for me. When the cathedral spire collapsed, it seemed that Notre Dame could no longer be saved. I still remember the tears and prayers from that night," artist Francoise Gerard, a native Parisian, told a TASS correspondent. "Today, I see that the restoration is progressing rapidly and is nearing completion," she added.

The cathedral will open to the public on the fifth anniversary of the fire, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo promised in a statement. In her speech, Hidalgo once again thanked the firefighters "who saved Notre Dame." She also noted that "the skill and professionalism of the engineers, workers and artisans made it possible to carry out the restoration in record time."

Strasbourg businessman Philippe de Brochet admitted that he visits the square in front of the cathedral. "I will definitely come here on December 8, when Notre Dame reopens its doors," he told TASS.

Fire in the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris

The fire at Notre Dame occurred on the evening of April 15, 2019, in the area of the spire, hours before scheduled renovations were set to take place. Anne Hidalgo, whose office windows in the capital's City Hall overlook the cathedral, was the first to notice the fire. She was the one who alerted emergency services.

The flames completely destroyed the wooden roof and the spire, which fell and burned to the floor of the cathedral. The fire was not fully extinguished until the following morning. It lasted for more than 15 hours.

French President Emmanuel Macron ordered the restoration of Notre Dame shortly after the emergency.

The foundation stone of the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral was laid in 1163. For centuries, Notre Dame has been a symbol of Paris. It is included in UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.