Notre Dame fire: French interior minister inspects damage to cathedral

Esequiel Farfan
Abril 17, 2019

French multinational companies are among those who have pledged money to restore the medieval cathedral, which was engulfed by flames on Monday following a likely accident in its loft.

Most of the roof has been destroyed, its steeple has collapsed and an unknown number of artifacts and paintings have been lost.

Officials said the world famous 18th century organ that has 8,000 pipes also appeared to have survived.

"When the tower, that central tower fell, it was a moan and a gasp from the crowd in Paris, exactly as there was in St. Boniface when the bell towers collapsed", Mailhot said Tuesday morning.

Following news of the fire, many Japanese people expressed their sadness online with posts ranging from "I'm terribly sad because I've always wanted to visit the cathedral" to "I'm in shock and distressed". "The spire ... is what we saw from a distance in Paris", she told the ABC.

French President Emmanuel Macron told the nation that Notre Dame would be rebuilt within a time frame of five years. "And we can do it".

"This is awful for them", said Mulaire.

Built by Shark Robotics with the help of the fire department, the incredible piece of machinery has many roles: it acts as a water cannon, can help evacuate the wounded and transport vital material, and can even make an inspection of an area thanks to its gas detectors and video.

"The worst has been avoided, but the battle isn't fully won yet", President Macron said in an impassioned speech outside the cathedral.

Images from inside the cathedral Tuesday showed its enormous walls standing proud, with statues still in place and a gleaming golden cross above the altar.

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Almost 400 firefighters fought the blaze for more than nine hours, the department said. He added that workers were "surveying the movement" of the structure and the contents in it.

He said the investigation would likely be "long and complex".

Officials who entered the charred edifice reported that despite significant damage and some weaknesses, the building's main structure had been saved.

A public appeal for funds drew immediate support from French billionaires and other private donors, as well as from countries including Germany, Italy and Russian Federation, which offered expertise.

Within 24 hours of Monday's blaze, French companies and local authorities had pledged more than 700 million euros to rebuild the cathedral, including 500 million from the three billionaire families that own France's luxury goods empires Kering, LVMH and L'Oreal.

Support came from outside France as well, with Apple chief Tim Cook announcing the tech giant would give an unspecified amount to help restore a "precious heritage for future generations".

Pope Francis is praying for French Catholics and the Parisian population "under the shock of the bad fire" that ravaged the Notre Dame cathedral.

But experts warned a full restoration will take many years. "I love you Paris", 52-year-old wrote Hayek wrote on Instagram.

Housed in the two western towers, Notre Dame's bells have rung out at key moments in France's history. The presentation of the relic, which was woven from thorn branches and believed to have been placed on Jesus Christ during the events leading up to his crucifixion, forms part of ceremonies marking the 800th anniversary of the birth and baptism of Saint Louis.

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