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Notre Dame Cathedral to be rebuilt after massive fire

April 16, 2019 10:30 A.M. (Updated: April 17, 2019 2:17 P.M.)
PARIS (Ma'an) -- The Notre Dame Cathedral’s Gothic spire and roof have collapsed, after the 850-year-old landmark went up in flames on Monday evening.

According to the Paris fire chief, Jean-Claude Gallet, the Parisian landmark’s main structure, including two bell towers, has been saved, after about 500 firefighters gained control over the fire in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Gallet also confirmed that one firefighter was seriously injured.

Flames burst rapidly through the roof of the cathedral and surrounded the spire, which collapsed, quickly followed by the entire roof. However, the main structure and most of the interior were preserved.

Notre-Dame's top administrative cleric, Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, said that a centuries-old crown of thorns made from reeds and gold and the tunic worn by Saint Louis, a 13th century king of France, were saved.

However, firefighters struggled to take down several large paintings in time.

Thousands of people gathered in the streets around the cathedral and from the other side of the River Seine, observing the flames in silence. In addition, several churches surrounding Paris rang their bells in response to the massive fire.

The cathedral is currently undergoing a six million Euro renovation project.

Paris police told reporters that the cause of the massive fire isn't yet known.

Following the fire, French President Emmanuel Macron has promised to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral and said that he is seeking international help to restore the Parisian landmark.

The Notre Dame, which was built starting in 1163, is considered to be among the finest examples of French Gothic cathedral architecture and receives almost 13 million visitors per year.
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