The back of the Notre Dame Cathedral on Dec. 24. Photo: Estelle Ruiz/NurPhoto via Getty Images

As Notre Dame Cathedral awaits restoration in 2021 after this year's devastating fire that destroyed much of the historic landmark's roof, the rector of the church said there's a “50% chance” the structure may not be saved, AP reports.

Why it matters: The scaffolding installed before the fire in April risks collapsing during clean-up.

“Today we can say that there is maybe a 50% chance that it will be saved. There is also 50% chance of scaffolding falling onto the three vaults, so as you can see the building is still very fragile."
— Notre Dame's Monsignor Patrick Chauve

Of note: The 855-year-old cathedral won't hold Christmas mass for the first time in 216 years due to its fragile state.

Go deeper ... Notre Dame fire: Which artifacts were saved and lost

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