Notre-Dame de Paris: “We are sticking to this goal” to reopen the cathedral in 2024, assures Emmanuel Macron

Notre-Dame de Paris: “We are sticking to this goal” to reopen the cathedral in 2024, assures Emmanuel Macron

For the first time since the start of the reconstruction of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, Emmanuel Macron has invited a foreign leader to visit the site. Accompanied by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the President of the Republic visited the owner on Monday 9 January.

At the bedside of the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, expressed his delight at the progress made in the reconstruction of the building, partially destroyed by fire on the night of April 15-16, 2019 by the Japanese Prime Minister He reminded Fumio Kishida of his ambition to reopen the cathedral to the public from 2024.

“Notre-Dame is a place dear to our hearts”

“I think it’s good to set accents […] We can’t tell people you’re going to last 10 or 15 years,” the head of state launched from a 26-meter-high terrace to greet the official delegation, where he took the time to thank all the teams involved in the construction site and the “Enormous mobilization of all companies, craftsmen and suppliers”.

“By setting the course, doing things in the right order, with great professionalism and because there is a lot of know-how in our country, we are moving forward. We will therefore stick to this goal [de rouvrir la cathédrale en 2024, ndlr] by doing it well and making it beautiful,” he said. And to assure: “Notre-Dame is a place that is close to our hearts”.

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A visit that won over the Japanese Prime Minister, who said he was “devastated by the fire at the cathedral”. “In 2019 we also had a fire at a monument, Shuri Castle, in Okinawa. We know the difficulty of these sites and I’m surprised at the speed of Notre-Dame,” said Fumio Kishida through his translator.

A working lunch at the Élysée

After visiting the cathedral construction site, Emmanuel Macron and his host had planned to attend a working lunch at the Élysée Palace to discuss the challenges of the G7 presidency and the “extraordinary partnership” between the two countries. “As a symbol of this shared desire to rebuild in the face of adversity, this visit will make it possible to showcase exceptional French know-how in the field of heritage,” stated the French Presidency.

The president will also share “all of France’s support for the Japanese presidency” of the G7 and his “attachment to the G7’s action in support of Ukraine” in the face of Russian aggression, Elysium said. The two leaders will provide an overview of bilateral cooperation in the fields of energy, defence, new technologies and culture.

They will also talk about their “Indo-Pacific partnership”, where France wants to step up its ambitions and strategic cooperation with seven territories.

After Paris, Fumio Kishida will travel to Rome on January 10th, London on January 11th and the Canadian capital Ottawa on January 12th before meeting US President Joe Biden in Washington on January 13th. The next summit of G7 leaders is scheduled for May in Hiroshima, a city destroyed in 1945 by the first atomic bombing in history.

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