Paris, Dec 8 (AP) French President Emmanuel Macron visited Notre Dame Cathedral on Friday, one year before its scheduled reopening in 2024.

After a blaze burned through the roof and spire on April 15, 2019, Macron's visits have become a tradition, with Friday marking his sixth to highlight the rebuilding progress. Huge oak beams have been hoisted skyward so the cathedral can be re-roofed. The spire, reconstructed from its previous design by the famed 19th-century French architect Viollet-le-Duc, stands at 96 meters (315 feet), crowned with a rooster and cross.

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Macron will pay tribute to Gen. Jean-Louis Georgelin, a key figure in the reconstruction and who died in August, by etching the general's name into the wood of the spire. Macron will also survey improvements in the cathedral's nave and choir and discuss future projects, including a new museum and contemporary stained glass windows to memorialize the restoration period itself.

The French leader's visit also underscores a personal attachment to the architectural jewel, a symbol of the country's rich cultural, literary and religious history.

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The schedule calls for the completion of the penultimate restoration phase by the end of the year, with the cathedral's much-anticipated reopening set for Dec. 8, 2024. (AP)

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