Paris (AFP)

General Jean-Louis Georgelin called "collectively the immense challenge of conservation and restoration" of Notre-Dame de Paris, during the first board of directors of the new public institution he chairs, according to a statement .

"I am delighted with the constructive atmosphere of this first board of directors, which has shown unity of purpose between all stakeholders," added the former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces at the end of the first meeting of this council near the cathedral, two days after a decree had instituted the new public establishment.

The board of directors examined "the framework which should allow an exemplary restoration of the cathedral within the five-year period" fixed by the president Emmanuel Macron "without prejudice neither of the safety nor the exemplarity of the building site", according to the communicated.

By appointing the senior officer to lead a reconstruction in 5 years, the president has bet on a man who would advance with the determination of a warlord this site of extreme complexity.

During a hearing in the National Assembly, Jean-Louis Georgelin had fired the chief architect of the cathedral, Philippe Villeneuve, asking him to "shut his mouth" on the issue of a reconstruction identical to the arrow.

General Georgelin was then called to order by the Minister of Culture Franck Riester for whom these remarks were "not acceptable".

The statement said that the Public Establishment is "under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture".

It also lists its priorities for short-term action: the dismantling of the scaffolding, the launching and conduct of restoration studies, the organization of the first cultural mediation and enhancement of heritage trades, the preparation with the City of Paris of the environmental management of the cathedral.

The General, President and CEO of the new public establishment, is assisted by Philippe Jost, Deputy Director General. They are at the head of forty people.

The Board of Directors includes, in addition to the General, twelve members: six representing the State including the prefect of Ile-de-France, the Mayor of Paris, the Archbishop of Paris, a representative of the staff and three qualified personalities ": Christine Albanel, former Minister of Culture, Bruno Racine, former President of the National Library of France and the Pompidou Center, and Jean-Pierre Weiss, former Director General of the Public Establishment of the Palais de Justice in Paris.

© 2019 AFP