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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 serious fireplace 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 underneath management nearly 9 hours after it began.

The trigger will not be but clear however officers say it might be linked to in depth renovation works underneath means.

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

Macron: ‘Horrible tragedy’

Visiting the positioning on Monday night time, Mr Macron mentioned the “worst had been averted” with the preservation of the cathedral’s fundamental construction as he pledged to launch a world 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 challenge 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 direction of rebuilding Notre-Dame, AFP stories.

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

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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 picket inside earlier than toppling the spire.

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

Sections of the constructing have been underneath 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 grow to be 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 priceless art work 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 price of restoring Notre-Dame

“We had a series of solidarity, particularly in saving the artistic endeavors… [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. “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”.

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 outdated. Notre-Dame has stood tall above Paris for the reason that 1200s.

It has given its identify 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 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 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.

WATCH: The second spire fell

The Vatican expressed “shock and disappointment” whereas UK Prime Minister Theresa Might described the fireplace as “horrible”.

Unesco mentioned it stood “at France’s facet to avoid wasting and restore this priceless heritage” visited by nearly 13 million guests annually, greater than the Eiffel Tower


Notre-Dame cathedral fireplace


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 mentioned it was “horrible to look at” the fireplace and instructed 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 choice as it would outcome within the collapse of your entire constructing.

Due to the fireplace, Mr Macron cancelled a speech on TV through which he was resulting from deal with the road protests which have rocked France for months.

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