The iconic copper rooster, which stood atop the tower of Notre-Dame Cathedral for over a century before the fire, is exhibited at the "Revoir Notre-Dame de Paris" exhibition as part of the 2019 European Heritage Days, at the French Ministry of Culture in Paris, France, September 20, 2019. REUTERS / Philippe Wojazer
PARIS (Reuters) – A battered copper rooster that used to stand atop the tower of Notre-Dame Cathedral is due to be exposed to the public more than five months after the big fire that nearly burned the iconic building.
The rooster was one of several culturally important artifacts rescued after the fire on April 15, 2019, which destroyed the cathedral tower and much of its roof.
"It was one of the Notre-Dame de Paris symbols and is even more so now," French Culture Minister Franck Riester told reporters on Friday.
“(The cock) was marked by fire. It was heated and then dropped, something that triggers another debate: should we restore it or leave it as it is, as a witness to what happened on April 15? "
The rooster will be exhibited in Paris this weekend as part of the European Heritage Days, where places of cultural interest open their doors to the public.
Asked if the cathedral as a whole could be restored within five years, as promised by French President Emmanuel Macron, Riester said that was the goal, but added that the work would not be hurried.
Riester also said that Notre-Dame is not yet completely safe and that an in-depth study is underway to determine the type of permanent damage the fire has left to the cathedral structure.
Report by Ardee Napoletano and Thierry Chiarello; Written by Benoit Van Overstraeten Editing by Christian Lowe
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