Tempers flare over rebuilding of Notre-Dame spire

The chief architect insists the tower must be redone exactly as it was before


The French army general charged with overseeing the rebuilding of Paris’ fire-mangled Notre-Dame, has caused astonishment by publicly telling the cathedral’s chief architect to “shut his mouth” in a sign of tension over the monument’s future look.

General Jean-Louis Georgelin and chief architect Philippe Villeneuve are at odds over whether to replace the cathedral’s spire — which was toppled in the April 15 blaze — with an exact replica, or mix things up with a modern twist.

President Emmanuel Macron, who appointed Georgelin to head the massive reconstruction project, has said he is in favour of adding a “contemporary” touch.

But Villeneuve insists the tower must be redone exactly as it was before.

Tensions boiled over into an open squabble at a meeting of the cultural affairs committee of the National Assembly — the lower house of parliament– late Wednesday.

Read more: afp

This week‘s new events