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Slow progress for Notre-Dame, months after fire

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Slow progress for Notre-Dame, months after fire

Slow progress for Notre-Dame, months after fire

Renovations of Notre-Dame are taking "more time than expected" six months after a devastating fire, the Paris cathedral's archpriest, Patrick Chauvet, said on Tuesday.

Ciara Lee reports.


Slow progress for Notre-Dame, months after fire

Six months after a devastating fire ripped through France's Notre-Dame Cathedral the enormous restoration project is moving slowly.

Patrick Chauvet is the Rector of Notre-Dame (SOUNDBITE) (French) RECTOR OF NOTRE-DAME, PATRICK CHAUVET, SAYING: "We're still in the first phase, the phase of securing the cathedral's structure, which is taking a bit more time than predicted, since I hope that the welded scaffolding will be removed by March or April.

Then we'll arrive at the second phase: studying the state of the place a bit so that we can do diagnostics and we can work out how much the restoration will cost.

The third phase, which will start in 2021, will be the proper restoration phase." An environmental protection group filed a suit in July alleging lives were deliberately endangered after the fire.

It said authorities failed to protect people from lead that spewed into the area from the inferno.

The blaze at the cathedral - built over nearly 200 years - prompted an outpouring of sadness around the world.

The exact cost of the restoration has not been confirmed, but hundreds of millions of dollars were pledged by donors to help.

It's thought some of the grounds will open again to the public soon.

General Delegate for the Notre-Dame foundation, Christophe Rousselot (SOUNDBITE) (French) GENERAL DELEGATE FOR NOTRE-DAME FOUNDATION, CHRISTOPHE ROUSSELOT, SAYING: "We're not going to leave worshipers and tourists behind a barrier for five to seven years.

And so we have to welcome them properly as we've already said.

There are other projects, other developments, which will run alongside the cathedral's renovation." President Macron has promised Notre-Dame will be rebuilt within five years.

An official cause of the blaze is yet to be determined.

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