Restoration work on Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris is ready to begin.
Two years after a devastating fire destroyed the centuries-old roof of the building and sent its spire crashing down, officials on Saturday said work to secure the remains of the structure is complete, Reuters reported.
Carpenters, scaffolding experts, professional climbers, organ mechanics and others took part in the effort to shore up the Gothic landmark, The Associated Press reported. The effort included special temporary structures to secure the iconic towers, vaults and walls of the huge structure, and a special “umbrella” to protect it from the weather.
French President Emmanuel Macron pledged the day after the fire that the 850-year-old cathedral would be rebuilt, despite fears it was too damaged to survive. He later promised to get it reopened by 2024, when France hosts the Olympic Games.
After some deliberation, France decided to restore the cathedral to its previous design, including recreating the 315-feet spire designed by architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc in the mid-1800s.
Restoration work is expected to start in a few months, after companies are selected in a bidding process. A cleaning operation for the building’s interior walls and floor will start this month, officials said.