France vows to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral after fire

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Before and after pictures show the devastation of Paris’ Notre-Dame that has come as a huge blow to France and the rest of Europe. A massive fire on 15th april ravaged the roof, spire and more of the interior of the 12th-century building, sending plumes of smoke into the sky.

Photos show damage inside Notre Dame

Pictures from inside Notre Dame on Tuesday showed debris surrounding the altar, but the surrounding stonework appeared to be intact. A pile of fallen pieces of stone and charred wood were seen on a wet floor. Light shined through gaping holes in the intricately carved vaulted ceiling. Bertrand de Feydeau, vice president of the preservation group Fondation du Patrimoine, told the AP that the roof’s wooden beams can’t be remade because “we don’t, at the moment, have trees on our territory of the size that were cut in the 13th century.”

Heroes emerge

Paris’ Deputy Mayor for Tourism and Sports, Jean-Francois Martins, told “CBS This Morning” that he and others on the scene jumped into action to by try and salvage the trove of art and artifacts housed in Notre Dame as the fire spread.”We made a human chain, with our friends from the church to get, as quick as possible, to get all the relics,” he said, noting that the crown of throns believed to have been worn by Jesus Christ was among the items rescued. “Thanks to the great bravery of all our firefighters, and as well all the public servants there, we had a very quick intervention. Very quickly a team was fully dedicated to save all these holy pieces, and specifically the relics and the crown,” Martins said. “Everything is safe and undamaged, and in our really bad day, we had one good news.”

Some precious items including the crucifix and altar survive the blaze

Smoke is seen around the altar inside the medieval building hours after the blaze broke out. The cross and altar miraculously survived the inferno, which are now regarded as a beacon of hope. Paris officials said the world famous 18th century organ that features 8,000 pipes appeared to have survived, along with other treasures inside the cathedral. French Culture Minister Franck Riester told reporters in Paris on Tuesday that all the art and artifacts rescued from the cathedral would be transferred to another Parisian landmark, the Louvre Museum, for safe keeping.

Still no evidence of arson

The public prosecutor for Paris, Remy Heitz, said Tuesday that investigators were still “favoring the theory of an accident,” to explain the devastating blaze.

Heitz told reporters that some 50 people were taking part in what would be a “long” and “complex” investigation into the fire that is believed to have begun in the attic or roof of the ancient building. Heitz said teams that had already been inside the charred building had found nothing to suggest the blaze had been started deliberately. Officials began pointing strongly to an accidental fire even before the flames had been brought under control early on Tuesday morning.

Great Organ, Crown of Christ saved

Gregoire, Paris’ deputy mayor, said on Tuesday that the famed “Great Organ” from Notre Dame, among the most famous and largest in the world, remained intact after the devastating blaze. Gregoire told French television network BFMTV that an emergency plan to save Notre Dame’s myriad treasures was put into action quickly on Monday and managed to save much of the contents of the iconic cathedral. The Great Organ, one of two in the structure, was built by Francois Thierry in the mid-18th century. It has an estimated 8,000 pipes. Gregoire said there was “enormous relief” that so many priceless pieces of art and artifacts had been rescued from the burning structure.

​French President Macron: “We will rebuild”

Macron, the French leader, addressed the nation on Monday night. Macron called the fire a “terrible tragedy” and confirmed that the cathedral’s stone facade and two main towers avoided collapsing amid the destruction.”I’m telling you all tonight — we will rebuild this cathedral together. This is probably part of the French destiny. And we will do it in the next years. Starting tomorrow, a national donation scheme will be started that will extend beyond our borders,” Macron said.

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