Russia Officially Invited to Join Notre Dame Rebuilding Efforts

Russia Officially Invited to Join Notre Dame Rebuilding Efforts
Flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. FOTO/AP
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KHANTY-MANSIYSK - France has conveyed an official invitation to Russian experts to join it in rebuilding the fire-ravaged Notre Dame cathedral, the country's ambassador in Moscow, Sylvie Bermann, said on Saturday.

"We maintain contacts on this issue, and we have invited Russian experts to help us restore Notre Dame Cathedral ... We are ready to cooperate with Russia, we have officially invited them, and we are grateful that they will help us. I personally was deeply moved that at the moment when it [the devastating fire] happened, the Russians showed great compassion", Bermann told reporters during her visit to the West Siberian city of Khanty-Mansiysk.

Russia's Special Presidential Representative for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoy said earlier in the week that Moscow expected France’s official request by the end of the year to understand what experts the country needed.

The major fire broke out at Notre Dame on 15 April, causing the collapse of the cathedral's spire and the partial destruction of its roof structure. While the cause is yet to be determined, the French authorities have ruled out criminal motives.

President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild the landmark cathedral in an ambitious five-year time frame, though experts believe that it is more likely to take 10-15 years.
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