Golden rooster fitted to Notre Dame cathedral spire

In a remarkable step towards its rebirth, Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral received a new golden rooster on Saturday. This significant event marked a milestone in the cathedral’s journey of restoration following the devastating fire it endured in 2019. 

Nestled on the cathedral spire, standing tall at 96 meters (104 yards) high, the new rooster was blessed by the Archbishop of Paris, Laurent Ulrich, under the winter sunshine and clear blue skies.

Designed by Philippe Villeneuve, one of the leading architects overseeing the reconstruction, the new rooster embodies a powerful symbol. Villeneuve chose to incorporate “wings of fire” into its design as a poignant reminder that the Notre Dame cathedral can be reborn from the ashes, much like a phoenix.

Notre Dame cathedral

Not only is the new rooster a beautiful and symbolic addition, but it also holds relics rescued from the fiery disaster that swept through the Notre Dame Cathedral on April 15, 2019. Additionally, inside a sealed document attached to the rooster are the names of nearly 2000 individuals who tirelessly contributed to the cathedral’s restoration and reconstruction.

Philippe Jost, president of the Rebuilding Notre Dame de Paris public body, acknowledged the remarkable journey that has been the restoration project, praising it as an unparalleled human adventure. The collaborative efforts and unwavering dedication of those involved have been instrumental in bringing the cathedral closer to its reopening, which is set to take place exactly one year after President Emmanuel Macron’s recent visit.

Notre Dame cathedral

Initially, Macron had pledged to complete the restoration within five years, in time for the Paris Olympics next summer. However, due to unforeseen setbacks, a new deadline was established. Recent developments have contributed to the momentum of the restoration efforts. On December 6, the cathedral’s great cross was reinstated atop the spire, glimpses of which can be seen rising through the scaffolding.

As the investigations into the cause of the fire continue, it is undeniable that the restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral has been a global effort, with over 848 million euros donated towards its reconstruction since the tragic event. The goal is to reopen the cathedral in December next year, with the capacity to welcome 14 million visitors annually, an increase of two million from before the fire.

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