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French Senate Funds Notre Dame Reconstruction, Says It Must Be Restored The Way It Looked Before

The French Senate passed a bill on Monday approving reconstruction of the famous Notre Dame cathedral, but it came with a catch.

The legislation stipulates that cathedral must be re-built exactly the way it was, according to the French publication The Local. The report stated that France hopes to have the cathedral rebuilt in time for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. (RELATED: These Photos Show The Damage Done To The Notre Dame Cathedral)

The iconic landmark caught fire last month, and the building’s spire was destroyed. The cathedral was constructed in the 13th century and had stood unscathed for roughly 850 years before last month’s fire.

Smoke billows as flames destroy the roof of the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris on April 15, 2019. - A major fire broke out at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris sending flames and huge clouds of grey smoke billowing into the sky, the fire service said. The flames and smoke plumed from the spire and roof of the gothic cathedral, visited by millions of people a year, where renovations are currently underway. (Photo credit: FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)

Smoke billows as flames destroy the roof of the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris on April 15, 2019.. (Photo credit: FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)

Shortly after the fire, a fierce debate began over how to rebuild the cathedral, with some intellectuals preferring a modernist approach, which drew a fierce backlash not just from traditionalists, but from secular members of France’s government. (RELATED: French Official: Notre Dame Fire Weakening, Cathedral’s Towers ‘Safe’)

Even Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo a socialist and an atheist had a conservative approach on the issue.

“The Cathedral is a work that belongs to all Parisians, to all French people and to the whole world,” she said in a tweet Monday, according to a translation. “I am in favor of an identical restoration.”

French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed his desire to have the rebuild completed within five years, saying that the rebuilt cathedral would be “more beautiful than ever.”

However, experts have warned that a rebuilding of the cathedral could take a decade or even longer.

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