Five-year timetable to restore Notre Dame

French president Emmanuel Macron has set a target of five years for the ruined Notre Dame Cathedral to be rebuilt.

Mr Macron outlined his hopes for the restoration in an address to the nation last night, little more than 24 hours after the fire.

He said France “will rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral even more beautifully” and pledged to “mobilise” as he thanked emergency services and donors who pledged money for the work.

In a series of tweets after the address, Mr Macron said:

We will rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral, even more beautiful, and I hope that it will be completed within five years.

“In our history, we have built cities, harbours, churches. Many have burned or been destroyed, by wars, revolutions, men’s faults. Every time we rebuilt them,” he added.

“The fire of Notre-Dame reminds us that our history never stops, never, and that we will always have trials to overcome.”

Nearly 400 firefighters battled through the night before the blaze was declared fully extinguished at about 10am local time.

Investigators believe the blaze was caused by accident, possibly as a result of restoration work. Fifty investigators are now working on a “long” and “complex” probe into the cause, Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz told reporters.

They will interview workers from five companies hired to work on renovations to the cathedral roof. The tragedy prompted an outpouring of support internationally, as well as funds for the restoration.

By last night, more than €600m had been pledged from French families and companies including Total and L’Oreal Group.

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