A fire which engulfed the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris last night has caused severe damage to the structure of the 850-year-old building.
The fire, which burned for several hours, destroyed the cathedral's iconic spire which collapsed to the ground, as well as the cathedral's roof. The pair of bell towers, which are synonymous with the building, survived; however many priceless artefacts and religious relics have been lost.
Millions raised to save it
French president Emmanuel Macron said in a statement: "Notre Dame is our history, our imagination, where we've lived all our great moments, and is the epicentre of our lives. It's the story of our books, our paintings.
"It's the cathedral for all French people, even if they have never been. But it is burning and I know this sadness will be felt by all of our citizens".
The president also said a national subscription would be launched in France to help with the rebuilding of the cathedral. It has been reported that French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault, the CEO of Kering Group which owns Gucci and YSL, has pledged over €100 million to the effort.
While the cause of the fire is still unknown, the Paris prosecutor has launched an investigation. Arson and terror-related motives have already been ruled out, with the police carrying out an investigation into "involuntary destruction caused by fire". The site was undergoing renovations and the building was surrounded by scaffolding at the time the fire broke out.
The blaze has since been confirmed as "under control", nine hours since it initially began. One firefighter has been confirmed injured.
A country without history is like a tree without roots. Its unbelievable that the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is in flames which is the historical root of France. We all stand with France as they try to save their history. @KarithiIndomit1 @Evansmutharimi #NotreDame pic.twitter.com/tncTKtJNqx
— Konte Van Karuti ~?? (@pitsonqarutty) April 15, 2019
— #ChanyeolSSFW ? (@bbh_oxo) April 16, 2019
We find this haunting image of a cross still shining brightly in a smouldering Notre-Dame Cathedral incredibly moving. We cannot help but think of our own Charred Cross, found in the Ruins on the 15th of November 1940 - a symbol of grave destruction, but also one of hope. pic.twitter.com/h7wArXcgxt
— Coventry Cathedral (@CovCathedral) April 16, 2019
— ABC News (@ABC) April 16, 2019
Very saddened to see pictures of the catastrophic fire that has destroyed the Notre Dame cathedral.
Despite this tragic accident I fully trust and support the French and Parisians to rebuild this iconic symbol of your amazing city. ?? pic.twitter.com/8bmrU0DobD — Alderweireld Toby (@AlderweireldTob) April 16, 2019
1/2 #Intervention #NotreDame : la structure de la cathédrale est sauvée et les principales œuvres d’art ont été sauvegardées, grâce à l'action combinée des différents services de l'État engagés à nos côtés. pic.twitter.com/0GJZKAdYdM
— Pompiers de Paris (@PompiersParis) April 16, 2019
In the aftermath, mourning crowds gathered near Notre Dam prayed and sang 'Ave Maria'.
— ABC News (@ABC) April 16, 2019
Many on social media have also been sharing their memories of the famous Parisian landmark.
So heartbreaking...many special memories of that place, from visiting for the first time on my high school French class trip, having my confession heard on a subsequent trip, visiting with my late father and having baguette sandwiches in the adjacent park https://t.co/KKCYqktHk5
— Elizabeth Wydra (@ElizabethWydra) April 15, 2019
Here is video that I took at #NotreDame a short time before the fire today. When we left, it was still a beautiful, sunny day at this wonderful monument. I am in shock! So very sad pic.twitter.com/xkeRinrZnG
— Sonya Olds Som (@SonyaOldsSom) April 15, 2019
I’m so sad learning the Notre Dame news. We went for New Years. The history and detail from centuries ago was so captivating, it made it hard to leave. These panels are from the 14th century, preserved and beloved for so long... pic.twitter.com/psueJFrN4Y
— Chantel McCabe (@ChantelMcCabeGC) April 15, 2019
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