In hours, €700m pledged for Notre-Dame

Lula Sharp
April 17, 2019

The statue is considered all the more important because it contains three holy relics - including a fragment of the Crown of Thorns believed by Christians to have been worn by Jesus Christ during his crucifixion, placed there to protect Parisians.

Victor Hugo bemoaned its pitiful neglect in the 1830s, but decades later it was given new life as its flying buttresses were renovated and a new wooden spire was installed. The main organ, which had close to 8,000 pipes, has also suffered damage. But no one can tell whether it has been damaged by water or will need to be restored.

Among the most famous architectural features of the Gothic masterpiece, the stained-glass rose windows are treasured artworks.

Construction on Notre Dame - French for "Our Lady" - began in the 12th century and continued for almost 200 years.

Officials consider the fire to be an accident, possibly as a result of the restoration work at the cathedral.

Flames and smoke billow around the gargoyles decorating the roof and sides of the Notre Dame Cathedral, in Paris, on April 15.

French President Emmanuel Macron visited the site on the River Seine Monday night.

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He has heard others in Winnipeg speak of the hurt they feel at the loss of Notre Dame, but he also thinks his parishioners will feel a sense of gratitude as they celebrate Easter this weekend.

Germany and Poland were among the countries that offered assistance.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the NY archbishop, said New Yorkers were united in sorrow with Parisians, who can "count on our love, prayers, support and solidarity".

"Notre Dame has survived the revolutionary history of France, and this happened during building works", said influential former culture minister Jack Lang.

Presidential cultural heritage envoy Stephane Bern told broadcaster France-Info on Wednesday that 880 million euros ($995 million) has been raised in just a day and a half since the fire. The St. Boniface Cathedral fire was sparked in the attic by one of the workers repairing the roof.

Bertrand de Feydeau is the vice president of preservation group Fondation du Patrimoine. "But effectively that is going to be a drop in the ocean compared to what the actual cost of restoring the cathedral is", Read said.

"Just thinking what can I do to help to stop it, but when the fire got a hold of the church, it just, just like Notre Dame, went up in flames", said Cuff. Before the fire, part of the Gothic structure had been encased in scaffolding. For this reason, Francis Maude, a London-based conservation fix specialist for the architecture firm Donald Insall Associates, was cautiously optimistic about restoration of France's medieval Gothic structure when he spoke to Newsweek on Monday. John Russell adapted it for Learning English. "This is not something you want to do in an offhand or hasty way", he added.

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