Notre-Dame cathedral: Macron pledges reconstruction after hearth

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Media captionPresident Macron has pledged the cathedral might 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 foremost stone construction, together with its two towers, however the spire and roof collapsed.

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

The trigger just isn’t but clear however officers say it could possibly be linked to intensive renovation works beneath method.

Paris prosecutor’s workplace stated it was presently being investigated as an accident. A firefighter was critically injured whereas tackling the blaze.

Macron: ‘Horrible tragedy’

Visiting the positioning on Monday evening, Mr Macron stated the “worst had been prevented” with the preservation of the cathedral’s foremost 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 mission we’ll have for the approaching years,” stated 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 vogue manufacturers, has already pledged €100m (£86m; $113m) in the direction of rebuilding Notre-Dame, AFP information company stories.

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

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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 shortly reached the roof of the cathedral, destroying its stained-glass home windows and the picket inside earlier than toppling the spire.

Firefighters then spent hours working to forestall 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 stated the 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: ‘Paintings in secure place’

Emergency groups managed to rescue useful paintings and spiritual objects, together with what is alleged 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 alleged to have worn when he introduced the crown of thorns to Paris, was additionally saved.

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

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

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

An emblem of a rustic

Evaluation by Henri Astier, BBC World On-line

No different website represents France fairly like Notre-Dame. Its foremost rival as a nationwide image, the Eiffel Tower, is little greater than a century outdated. 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’

1000’s 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 stated 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 stated.

The Vatican expressed “shock and unhappiness” whereas UK Prime Minister Theresa Could described the hearth as “horrible”.

Unesco stated it stood “at France’s facet to save lots of and restore this priceless heritage” visited by virtually 13 million guests every year, 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 known as the Notre-Dame a “image of French and European tradition”.

US President Donald Trump stated it was “horrible to observe” the hearth and prompt that “flying water tankers” could possibly be used to extinguish the blaze.

In an obvious response, the French Civil Safety service stated that was not an possibility as it’d outcome within the collapse of the complete constructing.

Due to the hearth, Mr Macron cancelled a speech on TV by which he was as a consequence of deal with the road protests which have rocked France for months.

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