Notre-Dame cathedral: Macron pledges reconstruction after hearth

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Media captionPresident Macron has pledged the cathedral shall be rebuilt

French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild the medieval cathedral of Notre-Dame after a significant hearth partially destroyed the Paris landmark.

Firefighters managed to save lots of the 850-year-old Gothic constructing’s essential stone construction, together with its two towers, however the spire and roof collapsed.

The fireplace was declared beneath management virtually 9 hours after it began.

The trigger isn’t but clear however officers say it might be linked to in depth renovation works beneath means.

Paris prosecutor’s workplace mentioned it was at present being investigated as an accident. A firefighter was significantly 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 essential 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 count on [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 trend manufacturers, has already pledged €100m (£86m; $113m) in the direction of rebuilding Notre-Dame, AFP information company studies.

The French charity Fondation du Patrimoine is launching a global attraction for funds for the cathedral, a Unesco World Heritage web site.

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Media captionFrench President Emmanuel Macron: “We are going to rebuild this cathedral”

The fireplace began at round 18:30 (16:30 GMT) on Monday and shortly reached the roof of the cathedral, destroying its stained-glass home windows and the wood inside earlier than toppling the spire.

Firefighters then spent hours working to stop one of many iconic bell towers from collapsing. Search groups are actually assessing the extent of the harm.

Sections of the constructing have been beneath 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 into unstable.

Mr Macron mentioned the cathedral was “for all French individuals”, together with those that had by no means been there, and praised the “excessive braveness” of the 500 firefighters concerned within the operation.

Mayor: ‘Paintings in secure place’

Emergency groups managed to rescue precious 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 have been saved contained in the cathedral constructed within the 12th and 13th centuries.

A tunic, which King Louis IX is claimed to have worn when he introduced the crown of thorns to Paris, was additionally saved.

WATCH: Why cathedral needed to be renovated
The large price of restoring Notre-Dame

“We had a sequence of solidarity, particularly in saving the artworks… [They] have been in a position to be saved and put in a secure place,” mentioned Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. “It is a tragedy for the entire world… Notre-Dame is your entire historical past of Paris.”

Historian Camille Pascal instructed French broadcaster BFMTV that “invaluable heritage” had been destroyed. “Comfortable and unlucky occasions for hundreds of years have been marked by the bells of Notre-Dame. We may be solely horrified by what we see.”

An emblem of a rustic

Evaluation by Henri Astier, BBC World On-line

No different web site represents France fairly like Notre-Dame. Its essential rival as a nationwide image, the Eiffel Tower, is little greater than a century outdated. Notre-Dame has stood tall above Paris for the reason that 1200s.

It has given its title to one of many nation’s literary masterpieces. Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre-Dame is understood to the French merely as Notre-Dame de Paris.

The final time the cathedral suffered main harm was through 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 stunning to any French individual.

Response: ‘France is crying’

Hundreds of individuals gathered within the streets across the cathedral, observing the flames in silence. Some might 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 have fun 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 disappointment” whereas UK Prime Minister Theresa Could described the hearth as “horrible”.

Unesco mentioned it stood “at France’s facet to save lots of and restore this priceless heritage” visited by virtually 13 million guests annually, greater than the Eiffel Tower.


Notre-Dame cathedral hearth


Image of Notre Dame with the tower missing

Earlier than

Image of Notre Dame with the tower on fire

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 observe” the hearth and advised that “flying water tankers” might be used to extinguish the blaze.

In an obvious response, the French Civil Safety service mentioned that was not an possibility as it would end result within the collapse of your entire constructing.

Due to the hearth, Mr Macron cancelled a speech on TV through which he was on account of tackle the road protests which have rocked France for months.


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