The first oaks used in the reconstruction of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris were selected on Friday from a forest west of the capital.
A total of 1000 oaks will be cut down at the end of March to rebuild the spire and roof of the cathedral, which was destroyed by fire in April 2019.
Oaks from all regions of France are used to rebuild the cherished national monument – about half from state land and the rest from private donations.
The Ministers of Agriculture and Culture took part in a ceremony to select the official first tree, a 20-meter oak tree in the Berce forest near Le Mans, about 200 kilometers from Paris.
“This is a project that affects the whole of France,” said General Jean-Louis Georgelin, chairman of the body responsible for restoring Notre-Dame.
“It will ensure the safety of the cathedral for eight centuries, ten centuries.”
The trees will be cut down and stored for 12 to 18 months to prepare them for use in the reconstruction phase, which is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2022, allowing for a planned resumption of the cathedral in April 2024.