After a blaze burned through the roof and spire on 15 April 2019, Macron’s visits have become a tradition, with this occasion marking his sixth to highlight the rebuilding progress.
Today, Macron wore a hardhat and went up the spire, reconstructed from its previous design by the famed 19th-century French architect Eugen Viollet-le-Duc.
“Since April 2019, the entire nation has been rebuilding,” Macron told reporters. “And it’s very moving to be here a year before. You can see the extraordinary progress of the work on this nave, the choir and the frames and the spire.”
Pope invitation and stained-glass window competition
During an interview with France 2 television, Macron said he would invite Pope Francis to attend the cathedral's reopening on 8 December 2024.
"I hope so, in any case we'll invite him," he said, when questioned about the possibility of the Pope's attendance.
"The invitation will be extended. But it's not for me to answer on his behalf," he added.
Macron also revealed plans for a contest inviting artists to design six new stained-glass windows for the cathedral, as well as a new Notre-Dame museum, "which will be inaugurated in the nearby spaces of the Hotel-Dieu."
The reconstruction process
The reconstruction of the Parisian architectural icon has been an enormous task. It began in 2022, after more than two years of work to make the monument stable and secure enough for artisans to start rebuilding it.
Authorities have made the choice to rebuild the 12th-century masterpiece of Gothic art, the way it was before. This includes recreating the 96-metre-high spire from the 19th century designed by Viollet-le-Duc.
The cathedral's iconic centrepiece, which collapsed in the fire, will reappear above the monument this year, in a powerful signal of its revival.
An estimated 1,000 people across France are working on the restoration of Notre Dame every day.