Culture&Arts

Notre-Dame fire: Images show damage to cathedral's interior

Notre-Dame fire: Images show damage to cathedral's interior

"Notre-Dame is our sister, it is so sad, we are all mourning - Parisians, French people, tourists, the Chinese, the whole planet", he said.

Despite the loss of the spire, the cathedral's iconic twin bell towers remained intact on Tuesday morning along with a number of priceless treasures, including an 18th-century organ and the purported Crown of Christ.

French President Emmanuel Macron visited the site on the River Seine Monday night.

A plan to safeguard the masterpieces and relics was quickly put into action after the fire broke out. Also saved was the tunic of St. Louis, a long, shirt-like garment from the 13th century, said Culture Minister Franck Riester.

He said the cathedral's greatest paintings will be removed starting Friday.

Paris Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Gregoire described authorities' "enormous relief" at the salvaging of pieces such as the Crown, which were transported to a "secret location" after the fire.

The Pinault family's earlier 100 million-euro donation was widely reported by French media. It was hit when the spire collapsed, said Laurent Prades, heritage director for Notre Dame. Paris fire department spokesman Gabriel Plus said building specialists and architects are "surveying the movement of structures and extinguishing smoldering residues".

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The Paris Prosecutor's office, which was investigating, said it was treating it as an accident. A cause has not been determined, but the building had been under renovation.

The promised assistance is a welcome - if late - surprise for the centuries-old Notre Dame, whose condition has been deteriorating for many years while the church and city government bickered over who should pay for much-needed repairs.

Men work on a statue on a facade at Notre-Dame Cathedral after a massive fire devastated large parts of the gothic structure in Paris, France, April 16, 2019.

French businessmen have also pledged hundreds of millions of euros for reconstruction, including Bernard Arnault, France's richest businessman, and Francois-Henri Pinault and his billionaire father Francois Pinault. It is up to us to find the thread of our national project, ' he said. The L'Oreal cosmetics group and its founding Bettencourt family offered 200 million euros, while French oil giant Total said it would contribute 100 million euros. Artemis is the holding company owning auction house Christie's and the main shareholder of luxury fashion houses, including Gucci. A spokesperson said tour groups will probably still want to have a look at the cathedral, although French officials are not allowing any members of the public to get too close.

According to one tally, the amount pledged crossed $700 million.

While St. Boniface Cathedral was never restored to its former stature, Carriere also feels the worldwide significance of Notre Dame will ensure it is rebuilt on a similar scale to the burned structure. It has not burnt, but no one can tell whether it has been damaged by water.

Click on the button below in order to donate toward the restoration of the historic cathedral.


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