Temporary church proposed outside Notre Dame Cathedral

PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 17: Passenger ferries pass by the Notre-Dame Cathedral after sunset two days after a fire that caused widespread damage on April 17, 2019 in Paris, France. A fire broke out on Monday afternoon and quickly spread across the building, causing the famous spire to collapse. The cause is unknown but officials have said it was possibly linked to ongoing renovation work. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

PARIS — The rector of Notre Dame Cathedral has proposed building a small, temporary church on the plaza outside the monument so that the faithful has a place of worship while the 12th-century structure ravaged by fire is closed for restoration.

Bishop Patrick Chauvet offered the idea of creating an “ephemeral” cathedral so people can pray and life can return to normal in the neighborhood.

The Paris City Hall gave its approval to the idea Thursday “subject to technical restraints.”

This picture taken from the Montparnasse tower on April 16, 2019 shows the landmark Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral three days after a fire engulfed the 850-year-old gothic masterpiece, destroying the roof and causing the steeple to collapse in the center of the French capital Paris. – A major fire broke out at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris sending flames and huge clouds of grey smoke billowing into the sky. The flames and smoke plumed from the spire and roof of the gothic cathedral, visited by millions of people a year, where renovations are currently underway. (Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP) (Photo credit should read LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)

A crypt containing vestiges dating from antiquity is located under the vast esplanade. There is also an underground parking lot.

President Emmanuel Macron has said he wants to see the cathedral fully restored in five years. Chauvet told neighborhood business owners on Wednesday he expected Notre Dame to remain closed “five to six years.”

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