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Notre-Dame cathedral not to hold Christmas mass for first time since 1803

The repairing and rebuilding is underway even after eight months of the devastating fire.

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The Paris landmark, Notre-Dame cathedral will fail to hold a Christmas mass for the first time since 1803, French officials confirmed on Saturday.

The repairing and rebuilding are underway even after eight months of the devastating fire.

The press office of the cathedral announced that midnight mass would still be celebrated on Christmas Eve this year by rector Patrick Chauvet but it would be held at the nearby church of Saint-Germain l´Auxerrois.

The landmark of Paris, part of a UNESCO world heritage site on the banks of the River Seine, was damaged by the fire blazes on April 15 losing its gothic spire, roof, and many precious artifacts.

Paris’ iconic Notre Dame Cathedral ravaged by massive fire

The cathedral had never been closed for Christmas through two centuries of often disorderly history, including the Nazi occupation in World War II, being forced to close only during the anti-Catholic revolutionary period in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

French President Emmanuel Macron scheduled five years to completely repair the centuries’ old structure, which remains covered in scaffolding with a vast crane looming over it.

Earlier in June, Paris prosecutors suspect criminal negligence and opened an investigation suggesting that a stray cigarette butt or an electrical fault could be the reason behind the damage.

The French culture ministry said in October that nearly one billion euros ($1.1 billion) had been guaranteed or raised for the reconstruction.

the authorSamra Mazhar