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General Jean-Louis Georgelin, who heads the reconstruction of Notre Dame, has said the cathedral will aim to open again on 16 April, 2024, five years after the fire…reports Asian Lite News

PARIS, Aug. 17, 2019 (Xinhua) -- The Notre Dame Cathedral is undergoing repairs in Paris, France, Aug. 16, 2019. The Notre Dame Cathedral in central Paris caught fire on April 15 this year. (Xinhua/Gao Jing/IANS) by .
The Notre Dame Cathedral is undergoing repairs in Paris, France, Aug. 16, 2019. (Xinhua/Gao Jing/IANS)

For the first time in 213 years there will be no Christmas mass at Notre Dame here.

Since 1803, the iconic gothic cathedral has hosted a Christmas mass but the devastating inferno of 15 April has put the tradition on hold, Efe news reported.

Instead the mass officiated by Dean Patrick Chauvet has moved to the church of Saint Germain l’Auxerrois.

That church is one kilometre away and has since become the replacement cathedral of Notre Dame and has hosted Sunday Mass under the archbishop of the city, Michel Aupetit.

“The scaffolding continues to pose a threat,” he said on Tuesday in an interview with the radio RTL station.

PARIS, April 16, 2019 (Xinhua) -- Photo taken on April 16, 2019 shows the damaged Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire in Paris, France. French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday vowed to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral, devastated by fire on Monday evening, within five years, calling on the French to remain united. In early Monday evening, a fire broke out in the famed cathedral. Online footage showed thick smoke billowing from the top of the cathedral and huge flames between its two bell towers engulfing the spire and the entire roof which both collapsed later. (Xinhua/Gao Jing/IANS) by .
Photo taken on April 16, 2019 shows the damaged Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire in Paris, France. (Xinhua/Gao Jing/IANS)

Chauvet added that it will take “several months” to carefully dismantle it so that the whole of the cathedral does not suffer.

There are 500 tons of metal scaffolding tubes that must be removed one by one.

Once the task is completed, the condition of the vaults that were subjected to temperatures between 900 and 1,000 degrees during the fire, will be assessed.

It will be necessary to wait for the spring to outline a calendar for the next phase of restoration work that will not begin until early 2021, Aupetit warned in an interview with Le Parisien.

Some 85 million euros will be spent on the consolidation phase alone.

PARIS, April 15, 2019 (Xinhua) -- Flames and smoke rise from the Notre Dame Cathedral in central Paris, capital of France, on April 15, 2019. A blaze broke out on Monday afternoon at the Notre Dame Cathedral in central Paris where firefighters were still fighting to put the fire under control, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said. (Xinhua/Xu Yongchun/IANS) by .
Photo shows flames and smoke rising from the Notre Dame Cathedral in central Paris, capital of France, on April 15, 2019. (Xinhua/Xu Yongchun/IANS)

For now, donation pledges of around 900 million euros from 110 countries continue to trickle in, according to Chauvet.

“That shows that there is an affective dimension” with Notre Dame, “the heart of France and the history of France,” he said.

General Jean-Louis Georgelin, who heads the reconstruction of Notre Dame, has said the cathedral will aim to open again on 16 April, 2024, five years after the fire.

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