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Notre Dame far from safe for restoration work, says architect

PARIS — A French architect says that Notre Dame Cathedral still isn’t safe enough for restoration work to begin, more than three months after a devastating fire nearly destroyed the monument.

French television showed the chief architect of France’s historic monuments, Philippe Villeneuve, taking Culture Minister Franck Riester on a tour Wednesday of the cathedral, which President Emmanuel Macron wants restored in five years.

He said that “we are still in extreme urgency of securing the site.”

Wooden supporting arches are being placed under the 28 buttresses, without anchoring them in stone. A robot was helping to clear debris on the lower level of the cathedral.

The minister said that the safety and quality of the restoration “is what counts” despite the goal of finishing the repairs by 2024.

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