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French President Emmanuel Macron says Notre-Dame cathedral will be rebuilt “even more beautifully”  and that he wants the work done within five years.

A massive fire on Monday ravaged the 850-year-old Gothic building, destroying much of its roof and causing its steeple to collapse.

The cathedral was minutes away from total destruction, officials say.

But despite Mr Macron’s pledge experts say its reconstruction could take decades.

Cathedral of Notre-Dame of Paris on fire
A handout photo made available by the Brigade de Sapeurs-Pompiers de Paris (BSPP) shows French fire fighters in operation to extinguish a fire inside the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.

What will happen next…

  • Teams of experts are continuing to survey the structural integrity of the building.
  • French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters outside the cathedral that workers will attempt to preserve the infrastructure of Notre Dame over the next 48 hours. There is still structural risk to the building, which is being surveyed, he said.
  • Castaner added that it will take an enormous amount of time to reconstruct the building, saying that the process would take “days (and) months.”
  • Macron the cathedral must be rebuilt in five years and said he would launch an international fundraising campaign to help finance those efforts.
  • Donors have already pledged hundreds of millions. The Île-de-France region will unlock an emergency fund of €10 million ($11.3 million), and Paris City Hall said it would give €50 million ($56.45 million) towards rebuilding efforts.

 

Cathedral of Notre-Dame of Paris fire aftermath
French fire fighters are seen in the towers inside Notre-Dame-de Paris in the aftermath of a fire that devastated the cathedral in Paris

What survived…

  • The cathedral of Notre Dame is home to scores of priceless artifacts, artwork and relics collected over the centuries.
  • The cathedral’s iconic bell towers survived, along with the cathedral’s elaborate stonework façade.
  • The Crown of Thorns, believed to be a relic of the passion of Christ, and the Tunic of Saint Louis were among the venerated artifacts saved.
  • The church’s irreplaceable rose windows and organ are in good condition.
  • After being rescued from the flames, some of the artifacts have been taken to the Louvre museum for safekeeping.

Via The Guardian, BBC, CNN, The Independent, The Local France