Notre Dame, the day after Sifting through the ruins of the 850-year-old Paris cathedral

PARIS - The inferno that raged through Notre Dame Cathedral for more than 12 hours Monday destroyed its spire and its roof, but spared its twin medieval bell towers.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/04/2019 (1271 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

PARIS – The inferno that raged through Notre Dame Cathedral for more than 12 hours Monday destroyed its spire and its roof, but spared its twin medieval bell towers.

The exact cause of the blaze wasn’t known, but French media quoted the fire brigade as saying it was “potentially linked” to a 6 million euro ($6.8 million) renovation project on the church’s spire and its 250 tons of lead.

The Paris Prosecutor’s office, which was investigating, said it was treating it as an accident.

Debris inside Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. (Christophe Petit Tesson / The Associated Press)

Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, Notre Dame is the most famous of the Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages as well as one of the most beloved structures in the world.

Construction on Notre Dame — French for “Our Lady” — began in the 12th century and continued for nearly 200 years.

FILE - This 1911, file photo shows the Notre Dame Cathedral, on the island called Ile de la Cite in Paris. Art experts around the world reacted with horror to news of the fire that ravaged cathedral on Monday, April 15, 2019. One shell-shocked art expert is calling the beloved Gothic masterpiece ‘one of the great monuments to the best of civilization.’ (AP Photo/File)

It sustained damage and fell into neglect during the French Revolution, but received renewed attention following the 1831 publication of Victor Hugo’s novel “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.” This led to two decades of restorations, including the cathedral’s famous flying buttresses and a reconstructed spire.

Aside from the structure, art experts were concerned about the fate of countless priceless artworks and artifacts inside.

A crown of thorns, believed to have been worn by Jesus Christ and which was bought by King Louis IX in 1239 is seen at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in a file photo. (Remy de la Mauviniere / The Associated Press files)
The Crown of Thorns, regarded as Notre Dame’s most sacred relic, was among the treasures quickly transported after the fire broke out, said Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Gregoire. Brought to Paris by King Louis IX in the 13th century, it is purported to have been pressed onto Christ’s head during the crucifixion. Also saved was the tunic of St. Louis, a long, shirt-like garment from the 13th century, said Culture Minister Franck Riester.

The cathedral’s famous 18th century organ that boasts more than 8,000 pipes also survived.

Some of the works were being transferred from City Hall to the Louvre, where they will be dehumidified, protected and eventually restored. A government official said the cathedral’s greatest paintings would be removed starting Friday.

Much was saved in the interior too. The only major work damaged inside was the cathedral’s high altar, installed in 1989 under Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger. It was hit when the spire collapsed, said Laurent Prades, heritage director for Notre Dame.

Philippe Lefebvre plays the organ at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris in 2013. (Christophe Ena / The Associated Press files)

The three large stained-glass rose windows, among the most famous parts of the cathedral, were not destroyed, but might have been damaged by the heat and will be assessed by an expert.

French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to rebuild the beloved Roman Catholic architectural landmark, and wanted to see it completed within five years.

-The Associated Press

(Christophe Petit Tesson / The Associated Press)
(Christophe Petit Tesson / The Associated Press)
A hole is seen in the dome inside Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, Tuesday. (Christophe Petit Tesson / The Associated Press)
(Christophe Petit Tesson / The Associated Press)
Fire fighters are seen in a tower of Notre Dame cathedral. (Christophe Petit Tesson / The Associated Press)
The spire, in flames, topples. (Thierry Mallet / The Associated Press)
This photo provided by the Paris Fire Brigade shows fire fighters battling the fire inside Notre Dame cathedral. (Benoit Moser, BSPP via The Associated Press)
This photo provided by the Paris Fire Brigade shows fire fighters battling the fire inside Notre Dame cathedral. (Benoit Moser, BSPP via The Associated Press)
Flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns (Thibault Camus / The Associated Press)
Flames rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns. (Thibault Camus / The Associated Press)
The inferno destroyed Notre Dame's spire and its roof but spared its twin medieval bell towers. (Thierry Mallet / The Associated Press)
Flames and smoke rise from the blaze at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, Monday. (Cedric Herpson / The Associated Press)
Smoke fills the air as Notre Dame cathedral burns. (Rafael Yaghobzadeh / The Associated Press)
Firefighters tackle the blaze. (Michel Euler / The Associated Press)
(Francois Mori / The Associated Press)
Firefighters tackle the blaze as flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral. (Thibault Camus / The Associated Press)
Nine new bronze bells are displayed in Notre Dame cathedral during a ceremony of blessing by Paris Archbishop Andre Vingt-Trois in Paris in 2013 (Francois Mori / The Associated Press files)
The Notre Dame cathedral is illuminated during a light show called "Dame de Cœur" to celebrate the centenary of the First World War, in Paris, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017. (Christophe Ena / The Associated Press files)
The view from the organ loft at Notre Dame cathedral in 2018, when the organ was refurbished for the cathedral’s 850th anniversary. (Christophe Ena / The Associated Press files)
A chimera and a gargoyle watch over Paris from the top of the 11th century Notre Dame cathedral in a file photo. Architect Viollet le Duc added the chimeras and gargoyles to the tower walls when repairing the damages caused by the French Revolution. The chimeras were purely decorative while the garoyles were built to serve as raingutters. (Remy De La Mauviniere / The Associated Press files)
The view from the organ loft at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris in 2013, when the organ was refurbished for the cathedral’s 850th anniversary (Christophe Ena / The Associated Press files)
The view from the organ loft at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris in 2013, when the organ was refurbished for the cathedral’s 850th anniversary (Christophe Ena / The Associated Press files)
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