The new Notre Dame tower and golden rooster were revealed after the 2019 fire

Scaffolding around the top of Notre Dame's new tower came down this week, revealing to the public a landmark restoration of the medieval Parisian cathedral destroyed by fire in April 2019. A soaring spire, crowned by a cross and a golden rooster, peeks out from a thick grid of support beams.

Notre Dame expected Open again Dec. On the 8th, for the first time since the fire, its roof and some of its vaults were also damaged. An initial investigation in 2019 left it unclear what caused the fire There may be a reason Electrical failure During an alignment.

French President Emmanuel Macron celebrated the development, writing on social media, “She reappears in the sky! French pride.”

The scaffolding surrounding Notre Dame's tower was removed on February 12, marking progress in the cathedral's reconstruction. (Video: AP)

Jennifer Feldman is a medieval art historian at the University of Alabama. Official team In a telephone interview, Notre Dame was reinstated, saying the release was “significant.” “It takes a lot of commitment to have them at this point,” he said.

In digital charts: The battle for Notre Dame

The inferno left a cathedral-shaped hole in the Paris sky and left a void in the city's history and hearts. In Spire's rebirth, many have found joy in regaining something lost—but not everyone. The opening also marks the epilogue of a heated debate over how to restore the iconic structure. For some, rebuilding the 19th-century tower is essential; For others, reflecting on history risked writing ourselves — and our 21st-century design sensibilities — out of it.

New construction is often remodeling. On its website, Friends of Notre Dame, a nonprofit raising money to rebuild the cathedral, describes The spire was “similar in appearance, materials (lead-clad oak framework) and methods of construction used” to the former. An exception is the Golden Rooster, which was redesigned in the style of a phoenix with flaming wings by the chief architect of the reconstruction. Philippe Villeneuve. Another rooster previously stood on top of the tower; The bird is considered Symbol of France.

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Notre Dame's spire has seen many chapters in its nearly 800-year history. The original tower was built Around 1250, was used as a bell tower in the 1600s and was removed in the late 1700s because it was in danger of collapsing due to decay. For decades, the cathedral was without a tower. Later, in the mid-19th century, architect Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc designed a new tower that stood up to the fire.

Meredith Cohen, a historian of medieval architecture at UCLA, praised those responsible for their openness and documentation. But he said over the phone that he felt “a little bit ambivalent” about the disclosure.

Although construction began in 1163, Notre Dame was not considered complete until 1345, and many additions and alterations followed. As the cathedral was built, the builders added elements and repairs in the style of their time, Cohen said Mentioned. Quite ironically, “If we take a medieval approach to this medieval building, we will fix it in the style of our day,” he said.

Cohen admits the public may want to see the beloved 19th-century spire, but it can't. He said it was “a 21st century tower that looks like a 19th century tower”. “It plays with history a little bit and is not visually obvious.”

Cohen is not alone in this view. Many modern methods of spire have been proposed Not all serious, and at one point, the approach was advocated by Macron. But Villeneuve, the reconstruction's lead architect, said he would rather resign than allow a modern spire, The Post reported.

Feldman, an Alabama professor, said modern technology allowed architects to reconstruct with such fidelity. He points to “incredibly accurate documentation” from digital scans. “Even in recreating the 19th century, we are implicitly recreating the contemporary,” he said.

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There's something medieval about the drama of seeing the cathedral come together, Feldman added. “I think we're getting a little insight into a part of the past that a lot of people don't have anymore,” and for many, this week's revelation was a high point.

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