From the ashes: Notre-Dame prepares to hold first mass after fire

Paris’s Notre-Dame Cathedral will hold its first mass Saturday two-months after the landmark building was gutted by fire.

With work on restoring the cathedral, parts of which are close to 900-years-old, barely begun, only around 20 people will be able to attend the mass led by Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit.

Nevertheless, it is likely to be an emotional moment for France’s Catholics and for many people across the country following the destruction wrought by the blaze when it swept through the building in April.

The mass, which will take place in one of Notre-Dame’s side chapels that was left largely unscathed by the fire, will be broadcast live on French television.

Since the fire on April 15, which felled the cathedral’s iconic spire as it tore through the building’s wooden roof, engineers have been working on making the site secure before restoration work can begin.

French President Emmanuel Macron has set an ambitious target of five years for restoring Notre-Dame, one of Paris’s most-visited landmarks, to its former glory – the cost of which is likely to run into the hundreds of millions of euros.