17 Apr 2019 20:04

France looking into Russia's proposal to send restorers to reconstruct Notre Dame Cathedral - French senator

MOSCOW. April 17 (Interfax) - Paris is considering Russian President Vladimir Putin's proposal with great interest to help restore the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral, head of the French Senate cooperation group with Russia's Federation Council Gerard Longuet said.

"We are very closely studying a proposal, which was voiced by President Putin, and are taking it with great interest," Longuet said at a meeting with head of the Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachyov in Moscow on Wednesday.

Moreover, "we know that Russia has a rich experience and managed to restore the cathedral, which has been completely demolished," he said. "I refer to the Christ the Savior Cathedral," the French senator said.

The Frenchmen "are very touched by solidarity, which people are expressing all over the world and in particular in those countries, which, like Russia, are very close [to the Frenchmen] in terms of culture, traditions and religious belongingness to the Christianity," he said.

"I absolutely do not doubt that my country will find efforts for solidarity, eagerness and enthusiasm and determination to reconstruct the symbol of our statehood," Longuet said.

The fire, which broke out at the Notre Dame Cathedral on April 15, caused severe damages to it, burning and ruining the spire and the roof of the building. French President Emmanuel Macron called for rebuilding the Notre Dame Cathedral for the next five years so that it will become "more beautiful than before."

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram sympathizing with Macron over the tragic aftermath of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire on April 16. He said he hopes that the great cathedral would be restored and suggested sending the best Russian specialists, who have a vast experience of reconstructing the monuments being part of the world cultural heritage, including masterpieces of medieval architecture, to France, the presidential press service reported.

Russia is in talks with France to provide the special aid to restore the Notre Dame Cathedral, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets said on April 17.