France announces a global mpetition to design a new spire for Notre Dame

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When Notre Dame went up in flames on Monday evening, the world watched in horror as images of the spire toppling through the roof went viral across TV screens and social media. It was the picture that dominated newspapers and websites and was the most devastating damage that the fire caused. Much of the building has survived the tragic fire - thought reports say that the building was minutes from total collapse at the point that the fire was extinguished - but the roof and spire sustained major damage.

President Emmanuel Macron declared that the cathedral would be rebuilt by 2025 (when Paris is hosting the Olympic Games) and to date, over €800 million has been pledged by billionaires including François-Henri Pinault (owner of Kering) and Bernard Arnault (owner of LVMH), as well as businesses including L'Oreal and Total. French prime minister Edouard Philippe announced that rather than rebuild the spire as it was, instead France is issuing a global call to architects worldwide to submit designs for a new spire "that is adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era".

The spire that collapsed was not in fact part of the original 13th-century design and was actually added in the 19th-century during a restoration project led by French architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc. The original spire existed between the 13th and 18th-centuries but is thought to have been removed due to wind damage, leading to the new version which collapsed on Monday. "As is often the case in the evolution of heritage, we should endow Notre-Dame with a new spire," the Prime Minister told reporters.

Experts claim that Macron's 2025 goal may not be realistic and it may take decades to fully rebuild the landmark.

Fire engulfs Notre Dame cathedral in Paris