France doesn't have big enough trees to rebuild Notre Dame's famous roof

A view shows Notre-Dame Cathedral after a massive fire devastated large parts of the gothic gem in Paris, France, April 16, 2019.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Restoring Notre-Dame to its original state could be impossible - because France doesn't have enough trees that measure up to the job.

Bertrand de Feydeau, vice president of preservation group Fondation du Patrimoine, told France Info radio that the wooden roof that went up in flames was built with beams more than 800 years ago from primal forests.

He said the cathedral's roof cannot be rebuilt exactly as it was before the fire because "we don't, at the moment, have trees on our territory of the size that were cut in the 13th century".

He said the restoration work will have to use new technologies in order to rebuild the roof of Paris' most-visited monument.

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Notre Dame fire
The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris following a fire which destroyed much of the building on Monday evening.
A firefighter works at Notre-Dame Cathedral after a massive fire devastated large parts of the gothic gem in Paris, France April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Firefighters work at Notre-Dame Cathedral after a massive fire devastated large parts of the gothic gem in Paris, France April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Saved treasures from Notre-Dame Cathedral are seen in a room at Paris city hall after a massive fire devastated large parts of the gothic cathedral in Paris, France, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Firefighters work at Notre-Dame Cathedral after a massive fire devastated large parts of the gothic gem in Paris, France April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman
View of Notre-Dame Cathedral after a fire devastated large parts of the gothic gem in Paris, France, April 16, 2019. A massive fire consumed the cathedral on Monday, gutting its roof and stunning France and the world. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Fire fighters on the roof of the bell towers of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris following a fire which destroyed much of the building on Monday evening.
The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris following a fire which destroyed much of the building on Monday evening.
Firefighters work at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 16, 2019. A massive fire consumed the cathedral on Monday, gutting its roof and stunning France and the world. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Flames and smoke are seen as the interior continues to burn inside the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool
Smoke rises around the altar in front of the cross inside the Notre Dame Cathedral as a fire continues to burn in Paris, France, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Fire fighters douse flames of the burning Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte walk outside the Notre Dame Cathedral where a fire continues to burn in Paris, France, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool
Sparks fill the air as Paris Fire brigade members spray water to extinguish flames as the Notre Dame Cathedral burns in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Sparks fill the air as Paris Fire brigade members spray water to extinguish flames as the Notre Dame Cathedral burns in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Paris Fire brigade members are seen at an entrance that looks into the Notre Dame Cathedral as a fire continues to burn in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Sparks fill the air as Paris Fire brigade members spray water to extinguish flames as the Notre Dame Cathedral burns in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Fire fighters douse flames of the burning Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Sparks fill the air as Paris Fire brigade members spray water to extinguish flames as the Notre Dame Cathedral burns in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Fire fighters douse flames of the burning Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
People pray next to Notre Dame Cathedral after it suffered heavy damage from a fire, in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Paris Fire brigade members spray water to extinguish flames as the Notre Dame Cathedral burns in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
People pray next to Notre Dame Cathedral after it suffered heavy damage from a fire, in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
General view from the entrance shows smoke rising around the alter in front of the cross inside the Notre Dame Cathedral as a fire continues to burn in Paris, France, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool
Smoke rises around the alter in front of the cross inside the Notre Dame Cathedral as a fire continues to burn in Paris, France, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool
People look at Notre Dame Cathedral after it suffered heavy damage from a fire in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
A Paris Fire brigade member is seen in a doorway as he looks into the Notre Dame Cathedral as a fire continues to burn in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Smoke billows from the Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire broke out, in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Julie Carriat TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
April 15, 2019; Paris, France; People watch as the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Laine/Abaca via USA TODAY NETWORK /Sipa USA
Smoke billows as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Smoke billows as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
French President Emmanuel Macron walks near the Notre Dame Cathedral as its burns in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Smoke billows from the Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire broke out, in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Julie Carriat
Smoke billows from Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire broke out, in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Smoke billows as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Smoke billows as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Smoke billows near scaffolding as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Smoke billows near scaffolding as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Smoke billows from Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire broke out, in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Smoke billows as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Smoke billows as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
People watch from a bridge as smoke billows from Notre Dame Cathedral during a fire in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
People watch from a bridge as smoke billows from Notre Dame Cathedral during a fire in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Smoke billows from Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire broke out, in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Smoke billows from Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire broke out, in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Smoke billows from Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire broke out, in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
A still image taken from a video shows flames and thick smoke billowing from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS TV/via REUTERS
Smoke billows from the Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire broke out, in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Julie Carriat
Smoke billows as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Smoke billows as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
People gather as firefighters spray water to extinguish flames as the Notre Dame Cathedral burns in Paris, France April 15, 2019 in this still image taken from social media video. Alexandre Brandao via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT.
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Peter Riddington, a consultant director with Donald Insall Associates, which oversaw the restoration of Windsor Castle following the 1992 fire, said he felt a solution would have to be found.

He added: "The history of the cathedral is so strong that to rebuild it in a form that isn't what people understand Notre-Dame to be, what it symbolises and what they believe it to be would be a very difficult argument to win.

"There will be a lot of soul searching I think."

While Windsor Castle was a straightforward rebuild due to the "cellular" structure of the rooms Mr Riddington said Notre Dame's status as a place of worship - and a large one at that - presents extra challenges.

Flames and smoke are seen as the interior continues to burn inside the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, April 16, 2019.   REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool

Windsor saw some 1,500 workers help rebuild and restore the castle at a cost of around £36m, 27 years ago - though both the cost and the four year project came in ahead of schedule and under budget.

He said: "I think it's a much bigger, more difficult rebuild.

"One thing I would say though is that it is not the first cathedral fire over the years.

"The west wing at York was badly damaged in the 1980s but they do get restored."

French President Emmanuel Macron has already pledged to rebuild the most-visited monument in his country and has promised to bring in the best talents from around the world to do so.

Paris public prosecutor Rémy Heitz said his office was "favouring the theory of an accident", but had assigned 50 people to work on what he believed would be a "long" and "complex" investigation.

French tycoon Bernard Arnault and his luxury goods group LVMH have pledged 200 million euro (£173 million) towards the reconstruction of Notre Dame, following a reported 100 million euro (£86 million) donation from another French billionaire, Francois Pinault.

This article first appeared on Yahoo

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