A visual history of Notre-Dame de Paris

Brenda Watkins
April 17, 2019

The French president has said he would seek help from the "greatest talents" in the world to rebuild Notre Dame, and many governments said they were considering contributions to what would be a significant architectural undertaking.

People may perhaps also take comfort from Emmanuel Macron's vow to rebuild the cathedral "even more beautiful" within five years.

"We remember with grateful hearts the tolling of Notre Dame's bells on September 12, 2001, in solemn recognition of the tragic September 11th attacks on American soil".

French King (later Saint) Louis IX brought the relic, which is contained in an elaborate gold case, to Paris in 1238.

A plan to safeguard the masterpieces and relics was quickly put into action after the fire broke out.

"If you've been to the cathedral, you'll never forget it", said Mulaire.

Paris officials said firefighters worked to save as much art work and holy objects from the 12th-century cathedral as they could.

Gregoire also described "enormous relief" at the salvaging of pieces such as the purported Crown of Christ.

French banks also made donations to the restoration of the cathedral.

At dawn, the twin 69-metre towers swarmed with building specialists and architects.

Devastation: the damage inside the cathedral.

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Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said 50 investigators are involved in the "long and complex" effort to find the cause.

News that the fire was probably accidental has done nothing to ease the national mourning.

Construction on Notre Dame - French for "Our Lady" - began in the 12th century and continued for almost 200 years. The company said that it was "touched by the drama that brought together cultures and beliefs" in a statement released on its website. Artemis is the holding company owning auction house Christie's and the main shareholder of luxury fashion houses, including Gucci.

One person said: "I can see it pretty clear, gown and all".

According to one tally, the amount pledged crossed $700 million.

Philippe Lefebvre plays the organ at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris in 2013.

The heritage charity Fondation du Patrimoine said it was too early to estimate the cost of the damages.

Offers of practical assistance have flooded in from across Europe: Poland's President Andrzej Duda has extended the service of his country's reconstruction experts, famed for their restoration of Warsaw buildings razed to the ground in World War II; while the York Glaziers Trust in Britain, which restored the windows of York Minster cathedral when it was gutted by fire in 1984, has volunteered its expertise.

Specialised craftsmen and rare materials are expected to be needed to restore Notre Dame, which is seen as an emblem of France and, more broadly, a symbol of Western civilisation that has survived revolutions and war.

But experts had warned a full restoration will take many years.

"I can say for the moment that local firefighters are linked with the church, whether it's a big church or a small church", he said.

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