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Rebuilding Notre Dame will be long, fraught and expensive

LONDON — Notre Dame in Paris is not the first great cathedral to suffer a devastating fire, and it probably won't be the last. In a sense, that is good news.

A global army of experts and craftspeople can be called on for the long, complex process of restoring the gutted medieval landmark.

One big decision will be whether to preserve the 850-year-old cathedral just as it was before the fire, or to take a more creative approach.

Getting materials may also be a challenge. The cathedral roof was made from oak beams cut from centuries-old trees. There may be no country in Europe with big enough trees today.

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