Notre-Dame de Paris. / barnyz via flickr CC BY ND 2.0.
CNA Staff, Feb 3, 2024 / 08:00 am (CNA).
LEGO has announced a new architecture set for 2024: Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral.
The nearly 4,400-piece set is ready to hit shelves on June 1 and will be priced at $229.99. The iconic landmark will be joining sets such as the Himeji Castle, the Taj Mahal, the Great Pyramid of Giza, and more.
The Notre Dame Cathedral will also be the largest architecture set created by LEGO. Currently, the Taj Mahal and Himeji Castle are the largest with slightly over 2,000 pieces each. However, the new set is significantly smaller than several of the LEGO Icons such as the 9,000-piece Colosseum and 10,000-piece Eiffel Tower.
Recently LEGO has begun to release only one new architecture theme each year. In the past, multiple city skylines or famous landmarks would be released throughout a given year. Now, builders are focusing on recreating one iconic location at a time with an increased attention to detail.
There have not been any images released of the new set, but it is sure to make a statement.
It is also worth noting that despite LEGO having a policy against making religious sets, the Catholic cathedral was still chosen to be replicated. Some argue the focus is more on the architectural value of the landmark. A similar case was made for the Taj Mahal set, which came out in 2019.
The LEGO set will be released approximately six months before the expected reopening of the historic cathedral in Paris.
French President Emmanuel Macron, accompanied by Paris Archbishop Laurent Ulrich, visited the newly-built spire on Dec. 8, 2023, and pledged that the reconstruction would be completed on schedule.
“Deadlines will be met. It is a formidable image of hope and of a France that has rebuilt itself,” Macron said. “This is an important and emotional moment.”
The historic spire, which stood 315 feet tall, crashed through the centuries-old roof in the devastating fire that broke out on April 15, 2019. After several years, the spire once again made its reappearance in the skyline in November 2023.
Nearly 500 workers are on site daily working to complete the reconstruction. Beginning this year, they will start waterproofing the oak with lead. The cathedral’s furnishings, statues, and artwork, as well as the organ, which was taken out for a complete restoration, will be brought back in throughout the year.
While renovation work on the exterior will continue for several more years, it is expected that Notre Dame will be able to welcome religious services and visitors on Dec. 8 of this year.