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Scaffolding being removed after Notre-Dame cathedral fire

The scaffolding around the spire of Paris’s Notre-Dame cathedral has begun to come down, according to the authority charged with restoring the monument after a devastating fire in 2019.

The spire should be entirely visible by the time the Olympic Games open in the French capital on 26 July, it said.

“The dismantling of the scaffolding has started and will continue over the coming months,” the restoration authority, Etablissement Public, confirmed.

The scaffolding reached 100 metres in height, weighed 600 tonnes and contained 70,000 metal parts.

The spire has been covered in lead, a material that has caused much debate because of its potential toxicity.

In December, the cathedral regained its great cross, and got a new golden rooster to replace the one that was destroyed in the fire on 15 April 2019.

Authorities believe the fire in April 2019 was started accidentally.

Initially, French President Emmanuel Macron promised the UNESCO-listed building would be fully restored by the time the Olympics begin.

However, the date has since been pushed back to December after restoration work hit several snags.

Authorities have still not determined the cause of the fire, although they believe it was started accidentally.

Annual visitor numbers are expected to rise to 14 million after the cathedral’s reopening, from 12 million before the disaster.

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