The priority is to assess and make sure of the structural stability of the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris before the start of any rebuilding efforts, said a U.S. architect on Tuesday.
French President Emmanuel Macron on the same day vowed to rebuild the cathedral, which was partly devastated by a massive fire on Monday evening, within five years. Macron said France would rebuild Notre Dame "even more beautifully".
Roger Lewis, Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland School of Architecture, and also a columnist for the Washington Post focusing on infrastructure, told China Global Television Network that Macronís goal is realistic, but there are a lot of assessment works to be done prior.
"Realistic for certain parts of the building, particularly the roof. The roof structure is made of wood, itís timbers. That can be reconstructed, probably even in less than five years," said Lewis before adding "I think before anything can happen, though, they still have to make sure everything is stable, and that itís safe even for going in there and moving around the place."
The fire is thought to be linked to renovation works being carried out at the medieval cathedral, and an investigation has been launched by Paris prosecutor office to determine the cause.
"The biggest vulnerability is fire. And I suspect, my guess is that there were some mistake or some accident up in the attic when they were doing the restoration work. And you are talking about a lot of dried wood that would go up very quickly. So it doesnít take much to start a fire," said Lewis.
The architect added that the suggestion of flying water tankers to extinguish the fire was never a viable option.
"In a city, you donít see this happening except out where they are fighting forest fires. To fly over and dump water would not be at all feasible. It would endanger the structure. Youíre gonna have collapse," he said.
The fire at Notre-Dame cathedral was put out on Tuesday after burning for 15 hours.