(AP) -Notre Dame’s rector says he will close the burned-out Paris cathedral for up to six years.
Bishop Patrick Chauvet acknowledged that the famed monument would close down for “five to six years” as he spoke with local business owners Wednesday, two days after a blaze torched the roof of the cathedral and brought down its spire.
Chauvet said “a segment of the cathedral has been very weakened” by the devastating fire. He did not elaborate which section he was talking about.
He added it was unclear what the church’s 67 employees would be doing in the future.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe says the government will take a series of measures to secure the financing and accelerate the renovation work of Notre Dame Cathedral.
Speaking after a special Cabinet meeting dedicated to Notre Dame, Philippe said the government will present a bill next week to ensure “transparency and good management” during the reconstruction.
He said one measure will aim at ensuring that all donations actually end up going to Notre Dame.
The bill will also allow French ordinary citizens to get special tax cuts if they make a donation.
Another measure will enable the French state to adapt legal procedures in order to ease the reconstruction.