French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged his support to the rebuilding and restoration of the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral, which was severely damaged by a brutal inferno on Monday.
Firefighters managed to save the 850-year-old Gothic building’s main stone structure, including its two towers, but the spire and roof collapsed.
By the time the fire was extinguished on Tuesday morning, hundreds of millions of euros had been pledged towards the cathedral’s reconstruction with the most notable coming from the owners of the Gucci and Louis Vuitton brands, who pledged €100m and €200m respectively.
The cause of the fire is not yet clear, though the Paris prosecutor’s office said it was currently being investigated as an accident, with officials saying it could be linked to extensive renovation works taking place.
The fire which began at around 5:30pm on Monday, quickly reached the roof of the cathedral, destroying the wooden interior before toppling the spire.
Fears grew that the cathedral’s famous towers would also be destroyed by the blaze.
But while a number of fires did begin in the towers, French Interior Minister Laurent Nuñez said they were successfully stopped before they could spread.
By the early hours of Tuesday, the fire was declared under control, with the Paris fire service saying it was fully extinguished by 9am WAT.
“We’ll rebuild this cathedral all together and it’s undoubtedly part of the French destiny and the project we’ll have for the coming years,” Mr Macron said.
“That’s what the French expect, because it’s what our history deserves,” he added, visibly emotional, calling it a “terrible tragedy”.
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