France says an international architecture competition will be held to rebuild the spire of Paris’s Notre-Dame Cathedral after it collapsed in a major fire earlier this week.

The promise to hold a competition comes shortly after the French president, Emmanuel Macron pledged to rebuild the 850-year-old cathedral within five years and after more than $AUD 1 billion has been donated to cover the costs of reconstruction.

While the spire and roof collapsed, the main structure, comprising the UNESCO world heritage landmark’s two rectangular bell towers, survived, prompting well-known UK architect Farshid Moussavi, founder of Farshid Moussavi Architecture, to note the rebuilding of Notre-Dame provided an opportunity to recreate the bringing together of talent which created the original medieval structure.

“The rebuilding of Notre-Dame is an opportunity to expand that history,’ she said. ‘Whereas the political landscape in the Gothic era was based on each country competing with each other to show their piety, today, we can come together as an international community to rebuild Notre-Dame because it is a world heritage landmark,” says Moussavi in an interview with the British-based Architect’s Journal (AJ)

Also speaking to AJ, French architect Irène Djao-Rakitine says the “best artisans and architects in the world” would be needed to restore the landmark.

Further details on the competition will be announced over time.

Image: Notre Dame de Paris