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Media captionPresident Macron has pledged the cathedral will probably be rebuilt
French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild the medieval cathedral of Notre-Dame after a serious hearth partially destroyed the Paris landmark.
Firefighters managed to avoid wasting the 850-year-old Gothic constructing’s fundamental stone construction, together with its two towers, however the spire and roof collapsed.
The hearth was declared below management nearly 9 hours after it began.
The trigger will not be but clear however officers say it could possibly be linked to intensive renovation works below means.
Paris prosecutor’s workplace mentioned it was presently being investigated as an accident. A firefighter was critically injured whereas tackling the blaze.
Macron: ‘Horrible tragedy’
Visiting the location on Monday night time, Mr Macron mentioned the “worst had been prevented” with the preservation of the cathedral’s fundamental construction as he pledged to launch a global fundraising scheme for the reconstruction.
In photos: Blaze at Notre-Dame
What makes the cathedral so particular
“We’ll rebuild this cathedral all collectively and it is undoubtedly a part of the French future and the undertaking we’ll have for the approaching years,” mentioned Mr Macron.
“That is what the French anticipate [and] as a result of it is what our historical past deserves,” he added, visibly emotional, calling it a “horrible tragedy”.
Billionaire François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of the Kering group that owns the Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent style manufacturers, has already pledged €100m (£86m; $113m) in the direction of rebuilding Notre-Dame, a Unesco World Heritage web site.
The French charity Fondation du Patrimoine is launching a global enchantment for funds.
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Media captionFrench President Emmanuel Macron: “We’ll rebuild this cathedral”
The hearth began at round 18:30 (16:30 GMT) on Monday and rapidly reached the roof of the cathedral, destroying its stained-glass home windows and the wood inside earlier than toppling the spire.
Sections of the constructing had been below scaffolding as a part of the renovations and 16 copper statues had been eliminated final week. Work started after cracks appeared within the stone, sparking fears the construction may turn out to be unstable.
Mr Macron mentioned the enduring cathedral was “for all French folks”, together with those that had by no means been there, and praised the “excessive braveness” of the 500 firefighters concerned within the operation.
Mayor: ‘Art work in protected place’
Emergency groups managed to rescue worthwhile art work and non secular objects, together with what is claimed to be the crown of thorns worn by Jesus earlier than his crucifixion, which had been saved contained in the cathedral, constructed within the 12th and 13th centuries.
WATCH: Why cathedral needed to be renovated
The large value of restoring Notre-Dame
“We had a sequence of solidarity, particularly in saving the artistic endeavors… [They] had been in a position to be saved and put in a protected place,” mentioned Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. “This can be a tragedy for the entire world… Notre-Dame is your entire historical past of Paris.”
Historian Camille Pascal advised French broadcaster BFMTV that “invaluable heritage” had been destroyed. “Blissful and unlucky occasions for hundreds of years have been marked by the bells of Notre-Dame. We will be solely horrified by what we see”.
A logo of a rustic
Evaluation by Henri Astier, BBC World On-line
No different web site represents France fairly like Notre-Dame. Its fundamental rival as a nationwide image, the Eiffel Tower, is little greater than a century previous. Notre-Dame has stood tall above Paris because the 1200s.
It has given its title to one of many nation’s literary masterpieces. Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre-Dame is thought to the French merely as Notre-Dame de Paris.
The final time the cathedral suffered main harm was throughout the French Revolution. It survived two world wars largely unscathed.
Watching such an embodiment of the permanence of a nation burn and its spire collapse is profoundly surprising to any French individual.
Response: ‘France is crying’
Notre-Dame receives nearly 13 million guests annually, greater than the Eiffel Tower.
Hundreds of individuals gathered within the streets across the cathedral, observing the flames in silence. Some could possibly be seen overtly weeping, whereas others sang hymns or mentioned prayers.
A number of church buildings round Paris rang their bells in response to the blaze, which occurred as Catholics rejoice Holy Week.
“Notre-Dame is burning, France is crying and the entire world, too. This can be very emotional,” Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit mentioned.
The Vatican expressed “shock and unhappiness” whereas UK Prime Minister Theresa Might described the hearth as “horrible”.
Unesco mentioned it stood “at France’s aspect to avoid wasting and restore this priceless heritage.”
Notre-Dame cathedral hearth
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel referred to as the Notre-Dame a “image of French and European tradition”.
US President Donald Trump mentioned it was “horrible to look at” the hearth and urged that “flying water tankers” could possibly be used to extinguish the blaze.
In an obvious response, the French Civil Safety service mentioned that was not an possibility as it would consequence within the collapse of your entire constructing.
Due to the hearth, Mr Macron cancelled a speech on TV by which he was as a consequence of handle the road protests which have rocked France for months.