French President Emmanuel Macron is hosting officials from the United Nations’ cultural agency, where he is expected to set out ideas for the reconstruction of Notre Dame Cathedral.

He will meet with state delegates from UNESCO, which oversees global heritage issues, in the Elysee Palace Friday.

Macron’s push for a speedy rebuild indicates he wants the fire-ravaged monument’s reconstruction to be part of his legacy, and is seizing the moment to try to move on from the divisive yellow vest protests. His initial wish for it to be rebuilt in just five years was met with incredulity.

French President Emmanuel Macron addresses Paris Firefighters' brigade and security forces who took part at the fire extinguishing operations of the Notre Dame of Paris Cathedral fire, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Christophe Petit Tesson, Pool via AP)
French President Emmanuel Macron addresses Paris Firefighters’ brigade and security forces who took part at the fire extinguishing operations of the Notre Dame of Paris Cathedral fire, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Christophe Petit Tesson, Pool via AP)

Macron had been due to deliver an uneasy speech Monday setting out long-awaited plans to quell anti-government protests that have marred his presidency, but it was postponed after the fire broke out.

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