As the fire-gutted Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris faces years of reconstruction, a Montreal-made video game may provide some comfort for those longing to revisit every inch of the church, from the soaring spire and towers to the cavernous vault. Macron is holding a special Cabinet meeting Wednesday dedicated to the Notre Dame disaster.
"This Notre-Dame Cathedral, we will rebuild it".
The former 93-meter spire was the work of Eugene Viollet le Duc and only added to the 850-year-old building during a 19th Century restoration.
Almost $1 billion has pledged for the restoration, while a vow by French President Emmanuel Macron to finish it in five years has been challenged as being wildly off track. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
"The global competition will decide whether a spire should be rebuilt, [and] whether the spire designed and built by Viollet le Duc should be rebuilt in the same way, identically", Mr Philippe said.
"Or if, as is often the case in the evolution of heritage, we should endow Notre-Dame with a new spire".
The spire ablaze before it collapsed on Monday.
Notre-Dame is an integral part of Paris, a city to which we are deeply connected.
Earlier in the day, the Conference of French Bishops said on Twitter that all cathedral bells nationwide would ring in "solidarity with the diocese of Paris".
"Today, there is no risk of collapse".
It was not yet known what caused the blaze.
Public prosecutor Remy Heitz has said the investigation promises to be "long and complex". Among past catastrophes, a 1972 fire engulfed the roof of Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul de Nantes.
By then, the flames were spreading fast, eating up one wooden beam, then another, in a portion of the roof called "the forest" because each massive support was shaped from an entire tree.
It withstood multiple restorations and extensions, including the addition of its central spire in the 19th century, which was partly buoyed by the success of Victor Hugo's novel, "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame".
Bells of cathedrals across France rang in a moving tribute Wednesday to Notre Dame as firefighters and experts continued to keep the beloved but weakened landmark under close surveillance.
As the scale of damage was revealed, billionaires and corporate giants lined up to pledge huge donations.
"Nowadays, people don't feel that oppression when they go inside the monument".
Despite his comments, experts had warned a full restoration will take many years.