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Notre-Dame: the role of the City of Paris questioned at the Assembly



The participation of the mayor of Paris in the Notre-Dame site is not ” a donation “ but one “Financial effort”. These are the words of Brigitte Kuster, president of the information mission in charge of monitoring the work of the cathedral. She spoke during a progress report before the Cultural Affairs Committee of the National Assembly on Wednesday March 3, largely devoted to the financial involvement in the renovation of its cathedral. The City had promised a participation of 50 million euros following the fire of April 15, 2019.

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The progress of the work has been detailed in this report: the securing of the place should be completed in the summer of 2021. As planned, the restoration of the building, which will take place over several years, can begin soon. The resumption of worship is scheduled for April 16, 2024 with a Te Deum solemn, “Whether the roof and the spire are finished or not” confirmed the deputy Bruno Studer, chairman of the cultural affairs committee. Visits would resume thereafter.

The 50 million Paris at the center of discussions

The debates of the past few months have been at the heart of the discussions at the March 3 progress report. The deputies returned briefly to the question of the allocation of the 831 million euros of donations collected, as well as the government’s choice of an identical renovation.

The financial involvement of the Paris city hall, which has been discussed several times, was at the heart of the debates. After the hearing in February of the first deputy, Emmanuel Grégoire, who had specified the allocation of the City’s 50 million, many questions have arisen. Indeed, the City has planned that these 50 million that it qualifies as a “donation”, are intended for the redevelopment of the surroundings of Notre-Dame, its square and the improvement of access to the building.

“The town hall of Paris is making a financial effort but in any case we can not consider that it is a donation” reacted Brigitte Kuster. If the cathedral is not a property of the city, the area around Notre-Dame is municipal, recalled the mission president. Paris therefore has the responsibility of financing their work. “Which will fit into the city’s overall budget”. MP Les Républicains was surprised at the choice not to participate in the renovation of the building itself, “While other municipalities in France, and they are numerous, have given for Notre-Dame de Paris”.

The vigilance of Parisians and associations

A share of the city’s overall budget and not a “donation”: this notable difference will have a consequence, considers Brigitte Kuster. “The look at these works will not be the same”. It provides for vigilance “Inhabitants and different protection associations”.

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The president presented the main lines of her fact-finding mission and underlined the work carried out. Thus, the hearing she requested from Emmanuel Grégoire, “Allows to have a clearer discourse on the part of the town hall of Paris”. New hearings with various players in the restoration of Notre-Dame will take place in the coming months.

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