In a cathedral full of scaffolding and where artisans of all trades are busy, Ms. Abdul Malak, who was there for the first time in her ministerial clothes, was reassuring.

“We are quite confident, all of us, collectively, that the year 2024 (…) will be the year of culmination of a large part of this project, in any case of the opening of the cathedral to worship and to the public”, she said during an improvised press briefing.

The promise of a reopening in 2024 had been formulated by the Head of State, Emmanuel Macron, on the evening of the spectacular fire which had ravaged the building on April 15, 2019.

Last week, General Jean-Louis Georgelin, in charge of the restoration of the cathedral, had declared to Figaro that a reopening on this horizon was “a tense, rigorous and complicated objective”, without however calling into question the initial calendar. .

“I never said the goal was in question,” he told reporters on Thursday. “For the moment, nothing, nothing, nothing allows us to say that the 2024 objective will not be met,” he insisted.

A titanic project which had to face, from its beginnings, many hazards: administrative closure of the site for several weeks due to lead, slowdown due to Covid-19, bad weather…

“Whenever we encounter difficulties, we are there to solve them”, continued Mr. Georgelin, indicating that his role was “to maintain the objective, not to question it”.

– 2023 for the arrow –

Will the cathedral reopen on December 8, the date circulating in the press? For the time being, no date has been fixed, affirmed with the same voice Mrs. Abdul Malak and Mr. Georgelin.

The only certainty, “the date will be chosen with the diocese,” said the minister.

While waiting for 2024, the year 2023 should be the year when Parisians will find the spire of Notre-Dame, which had burned down and is currently being rebuilt.

At the start of the school year, the installation of the 600-ton scaffolding will begin, which will culminate at 100 meters in height.

The spire stool will be installed in the first half of 2023. Objective: for the spire to rise in the sky of Paris by mid-2023.

With a total budget of 850 million euros, the site is currently in its second phase, that of reconstruction, after an initial period of securing/consolidation which has made it possible to stabilize this masterpiece of Gothic art. .

If nearly 150 million euros were spent during the first phase, more than 550 are planned for the second phase, said General Georgelin.

Interior restoration work began in March 2022 in the cathedral.

It was during this period that the craftsmen (stonemasons, restorers of mural paintings and sculptures, etc.) joined the site.

At the same time, restoration operations are taking place everywhere in France, such as the restoration of the cathedral’s 22 large format paintings dating from the 17th and 18th centuries.

A third phase of exterior reconstruction of the cathedral will follow, then the development of the forecourt which, for its part, depends on the town hall of Paris.

The fire of Notre-Dame – whose causes have still not been established with certainty – had caused the collapse of its frame, its spire, its clock and part of its vault, ravaged by the flames .