Paris' Notre Dame cathedral on fire

Oscar Cross
April 16, 2019

The peak of the church is undergoing a $6.8 million renovation project.

The cathedral, which was built in 1160, is engulfed in flames and firefighters are struggling to contain the massive fire. The 16 greenish-gray copper statues, which represent the twelve apostles and four evangelists, are lowered by a 100 meter (105 yard) crane onto a truck to be taken for restoration in southwestern France.

His work in 2014-2015 uncovered that the Gallery of Kings had shifted nearly a foot out of plumb and that this area of the cathedral might have been left untouched for as much of a decade before work began again, giving the soil time to settle. Its priceless treasures also include a Catholic relic, the crown of thorns, which is only occasionally displayed, including on Fridays during Lent.

The building itself may not be so lucky.

The cathedral was evacuated when the fire alarm was activated around 6.30pm, according to André Finot, a spokesman for Notre Dame. "Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame", he said. The cathedral, located on an island in the middle of the Seine River, has been under renovation, with scaffolding covering much of the roof.

Parts of the roof has collapsed and its spire has dramatically toppled over. The current one was made of oak covered with lead and weighed 750 tons.

"We have to see if the vault, which protects the cathedral, will be touched or not".


First immortalized in Victor Hugo's book "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", the building has always been a subject of fascination of historians and art lovers, drawing roughly 12 million tourists every year. 'It's on my bucket list and now one of the historic landmarks is just gone! The current $6.8 million restoration was meant to preserve it for future generations.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of NY tweeted Monday that he prayed for the "splendid house of prayer" to be preserved from another landmark gothic cathedral: St. Patrick's. A large security perimeter has been set up by firefighters, who are now battling the fire.

"For 800 years the Cathedral has watched over Paris", he said. The cathedral's website boasts that its three rose windows "constitute one of the great masterpieces of Christianity". "The plume of smoke is already 100s of feet long".

"So disgusting to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris", Trump wrote. I've never seen a fire in real life but the flames keep getting bigger and bigger. We are mobilized on site in close connection with the @dioceseParis. "I urge everyone to respect the security perimeter".

"Our Lady of Paris is in flames".

Macron cancelled an address to the nation that he had been due to give later on Monday evening.

Israeli president Reuven Rivlin, right, is welcomed by French President Emmanuel Macron on his arrival at the Elysee Palace in Paris on January 23, 2019.

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