Holy host: Emmanuel Macron invites Pope Francis to grand reopening of restored Notre Dame in 2024

French President Emmanuel Macron (L) walks inside the nave during a visit of the reconstruction work at the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral.
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) walks inside the nave during a visit of the reconstruction work at the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral. Copyright Credit: AFP
By Theo FarrantAP
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button
Copy/paste the article video embed link below:Copy to clipboardCopied

During his visit, Macron revealed plans for a contest inviting artists to design six new stained-glass windows for the cathedral and also paid homage to Gen. Jean-Louis Georgelin, who previously oversaw the reconstruction and died in August.

ADVERTISEMENT

French President Emmanuel Macron visited Notre Dame Cathedral today (8 December), one year before its scheduled reopening in 2024.

After a blaze burned through the roof and spire on 15 April 2019, Macron’s visits have become a tradition, with this occasion marking his sixth to highlight the rebuilding progress.

Today, Macron wore a hardhat and went up the spire, reconstructed from its previous design by the famed 19th-century French architect Eugen Viollet-le-Duc.

“Since April 2019, the entire nation has been rebuilding,” Macron told reporters. “And it’s very moving to be here a year before. You can see the extraordinary progress of the work on this nave, the choir and the frames and the spire.”

Pope invitation and stained-glass window competition

French President Emmanuel Macron (L) touches the top of the newly rebuilt spire and cross, during his visit to the reconstruction work at Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) touches the top of the newly rebuilt spire and cross, during his visit to the reconstruction work at Notre-Dame de Paris CathedralCredit: CHRISTOPHE ENA/AFP

During an interview with France 2 television, Macron said he would invite Pope Francis to attend the cathedral's reopening on 8 December 2024. 

"I hope so, in any case we'll invite him," he said, when questioned about the possibility of the Pope's attendance.

"The invitation will be extended. But it's not for me to answer on his behalf," he added.

Macron also revealed plans for a contest inviting artists to design six new stained-glass windows for the cathedral, as well as a new Notre-Dame museum, "which will be inaugurated in the nearby spaces of the Hotel-Dieu." 

The reconstruction process

Macron (C) visits the reconstruction work and the cross atop the newly rebuilt spire, at Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral.
Macron (C) visits the reconstruction work and the cross atop the newly rebuilt spire, at Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral.Credit: AFP

The reconstruction of the Parisian architectural icon has been an enormous task. It began in 2022, after more than two years of work to make the monument stable and secure enough for artisans to start rebuilding it.

Authorities have made the choice to rebuild the 12th-century masterpiece of Gothic art, the way it was before. This includes recreating the 96-metre-high spire from the 19th century designed by Viollet-le-Duc.

The cathedral's iconic centrepiece, which collapsed in the fire, will reappear above the monument this year, in a powerful signal of its revival.

An estimated 1,000 people across France are working on the restoration of Notre Dame every day.

Video editor • Theo Farrant

Share this articleComments

You might also like