French company with Atlanta offices in talks to help rebuild Notre Dame

ATLANTA — A French company with offices in Atlanta is in talks to help rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral, which burned last month.

Channel 2's Craig Lucie talked to the CEO of high-end woodworking company Asselin,  who saw the 800-year-old cathedral in Paris in flames.

Francois Asselin said he should be putting together a bid to rebuild the wooden roof framing of Notre Dame.

He's the fifth generation of Asselins to run the business, which also does woodworking at Buckhead mansions.

"It's an old company. A family-owned company involved of restoration of historical monuments," Asselin said.

Asselin restored all the windows of Versailles and his carpenters did wood framing in the Louvre.

He shared pictures revealing the extent of the damage to the roof that were taken after an up-close tour of the cathedral to gauge the scope of work.


After receiving more than $1 billion in donations to rebuild, French president Emmanuel Macron said the cathedral would take five years to restore.

Asselin agrees, but says it depends on how much they want the construction to resemble the original the material and look.

"The best way to restore it is to take a little bit of time," Asselin said.

He estimates it will take around seven years of work. It's estimated that the roof of Notre Dame took more than 1,300 giant oak trees to create. Asselin said his skilled carpenters can pull it off again.

"You cut oaks fall and winter and you need two - three years to find specific oaks for the framing," Asselin said.

He said multiple companies will work on the massive restoration project together and their final bids will be accepted in September.

"It could be a nice and magnificent opportunity to show the world in France that we still have the know-how to restore Notre Dame," Asselin said.

He said in the meantime, he's glad for Americans' support.

"American people were very touched by this disaster," Asselin said. "Notre Dame is not just Notre Dame of Paris. It's Notre Dame of the world, too."

CLICK HERE to see more photos on Asselin's official Instagram acount!