A view of Notre-Dame Cathedral after a fire devastated large parts of the gothic gem. Benoit Tessier/Reuters
The French prime minister has announced an international architects' competition to rebuild the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral.
Edouard Philippe is speaking following a special Cabinet meeting on Wednesday held by French President Emmanuel Macron focusing on the reconstruction of Notre Dame Cathedral.
Philippe said the competition aims at "giving Notre Dame a spire adapted to techniques and challenges of our times."
He said authorities have no estimation yet of the total cost of the renovation work. Macron said Tuesday he wants the cathedral to be rebuilt by five years.
Philippe said: "This is obviously a huge challenge, a historic responsibility."
The Paris prosecutor's office says investigators looking into the causes of the Notre Dame fire have still not been able to look inside the cathedral, as it remains unsafe.
Investigators will continue with interviews Wednesday, saying the inquiry will go on until prosecutors uncover "the truth and identify the origin" of the blaze. On Tuesday, investigators spoke with around 30 witnesses, including employees of companies involved in the church's restoration and security personnel.
The Czech Philharmonic and other major Czech orchestras will join forces to play a fundraising concert to help restore Notre Dame Cathedral, heavily damaged by a devastating fire.
The Czech Philharmonic says the orchestras will perform Antonin Dvorak's "Stabat Mater" in St. Vitus Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece, in Prague on Tuesday.
The orchestras want to support France in renovating one of the most important religious buildings in Europe.
Some 400 firefighters tackled the huge blaze at the 12th century Gothic masterpiece and, oblivious to the danger they faced, saw their efforts rewarded as they saved the main structure.
Macron expressed relief that “the worst had been avoided” in a blaze that had at one point threatened the entire edifice, and left France in shock over the damage to a building described as the soul of the nation.
Billionaires and local governments pledged nearly 500 million euros (565 million dollars) on Tuesday to help restore Notre-Dame cathedral, with foundations and crowd-sourcing sites also launching fund-raising drives.
A Senegalese woman television presenter was in custody after her allegations of rape against minority Fulanis sparked protests outside her studio, her employers and police said.
This video shows the King, Queen Rania and their children having a simple Iftar. Queen Rania captioned the clip, “Wonderful to have the whole family together for Iftar.”
Indian PM Narendra Modi on Sunday received a telephone call from his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan who congratulated him on the BJP's historic victory in the Lok Sabha elections and his re-election to the highest office in India.