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Amid controversy over exactly how the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral will be restored, a French parliament bill passed to ensure it will look exactly the same.

In April the Notre Dame Cathedral was consumed by flames, burning the wooden roof and iconic spire to ash. Fortunately, the “main structure” was saved and preserved.

Following the fire, numerous donations amounting to over a billion dollars poured in to fund the restoration. In July, the National Assembly passed a bill setting up a legal framework to distribute them accordingly.

Controversy was abound over how the funds will be used to restore the cathedral, whether to its “last known visual state” or one of the many “creative” design proposals – the greenhouse roof, the rooftop pool, the beam of light spire, or the crystal spire.

According to Francesco Bandarin, architect and former senior official at UNESCO, the proposals will remain just that. Once restorations begin, the plan is to have the new Notre Dame Cathedral to look exactly like the old one.

However, according to chief architect Philippe Villeneuve, the plans are on pause for now: “we are not at all in the restoration phase – we are still in the urgent securing of the cathedral.”

Click here to watch an exclusive first look from lead architects of the restoration of the iconic Parisian cathedral.

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