A fire destroyed the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral. The monument was an attraction for tourists, and the fire in April 2019 robbed Paris of one of its charms. There was speculation that its rebuilding would give it a modern look, but that idea is shelved.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced that repairs to the damaged portions of Notre Dame Cathedral would ensure the retention of the original Gothic design. He felt inviting architects from all over the world to design a new spire would be a time-consuming process and could lead to unnecessary delays.

He indicated 2024 as the deadline for completion of restoration so that it coincides with the Olympics. Paris will host the international event. The president wants the work to proceed without delays and complications.

The Elysée said - "The president trusted the experts and approved the main outlines of the project presented by the chief architect, which plans to reconstruct the spire identically."

The BBC says the president's announcement came after a meeting of France's national heritage and architecture commission (CNPA).

Notre Dame Cathedral is a century-old construction. Flames engulfed it during repair works in April 2019. Donations poured in from all over the world, and the amount was nearly $1bn within two days. The iconic cathedral is a Travel destination, and visitors want it to reopen at the earliest.

Some facts about Notre Dame Cathedral

Paris has many attractions to woo tourists, and Notre Dame Cathedral is one of them. Its construction dates back to the 13th Century when the first spire came up. It was there until the late 18th Century when it was removed because of extensive damage. The authorities assigned Architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc to design the replacement, and it was built in the mid-19th Century.

The latest fire incident of April 2019 led to discussions on how best to restore the spire. The official in charge of the reconstruction effort wanted to go in for a modern alternative. At the time, President Macron supported such a move. He indicated his willingness to favor a "contemporary gesture."

The result was a flood of ideas from international architects. These included unconventional designs of a rooftop pool, a giant park, and a greenhouse on the roof, etcetera. However, the cathedral's chief architect, Philippe Villeneuve, favored restoration to the existing standards, in conformity with the centuries-old design.

Officials hope Notre Dame will reopen by 2024

According to Daily Mail UK, the authorities say the rebuilding of the centuries-old Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris will ensure as it was before the fire incident of 2019.

That fire had engulfed the Gothic landmark, a national heritage. It destroyed the spire and roof, and millions across the world witnessed the disaster unfolding.

After the fire, President Emmanuel Macron promised to restore it within five years. Church officials hope Notre Dame will reopen for mass by 2024. That is when Paris would be hosting the Olympic Games. The fire happened on April 15, 2019, and there are fears in certain quarters that restoration work might not meet the deadline for several reasons.

Deadline for reopening Notre Dame

Daily Mail UK adds that the latest reason for possible delay relates to the spread of the coronavirus in France and confinement measures imposed on March 17 to contain the infection.

Such actions are acting as hurdles in the smooth flow of work all over the world. The disease is highly contagious, and the general advice to the people is to avoid crowded areas and maintain social distancing.

Coronavirus has already led to the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Those involved in the activities of restoring the cathedral will have to plan for completion, considering the constraints.