What was lost and what was saved in the recent Notre-Dame Cathedral Fire in Paris. The Notre-Dame Cathedral Fire destroyed an important part of the architectural, artistic and religious patrimony of the cathedral, but the work of the firemen was indispensable to save the structure of the building as far as possible.
Until now, the French authorities have handled the hypothesis that the fire originated accidentally, however, investigators have begun to interrogate witnesses. “Nothing, for now, is in the line of a voluntary act,” said the Paris prosecutor, Rémi Heitz, who is responsible for the investigation, in statements to the press.
The Notre-Dame Cathedral is the characteristic work of Gothic art, which has more than 800 years of history and for a long time was the largest Christian building in the West and symbol of the wealth of the France capital.
Restoration works were currently underway, which had to be extended until 2022 and which required the installation of huge scaffolding that reached 100 meters in height.
Recently French President Emmanuel Macron promised to rebuild the cathedral of Notre-Dame in five years: “We will rebuild the Cathedral in five years and it will be more beautiful than before,” the French president announced.
“We are a nation of entrepreneurs and there is still much to rebuild. France has experienced wars and revolutions that destroyed towns, ports, and churches, but we always rebuild them, “said Macron.
What was lost in the Notre-Dame Cathedral Fire?
The Cathedral Spire:
The most visible loss is the cathedral spire, which sank into the flames just one hour after the fire started. According to the Minister of Culture, Franck Riester, everything points to where the fire started, in an area where works had recently begun and where a scaffolding of 100 meters high had been installed.
The spire has been destroyed several times throughout the history of Notre-Dame. The one that broke down in fire this Monday constructed in 1859 and had been designed by the architect Eugène Viollet le Duc.
Inside the spire, there were three relics that could not be extracted: one that is considered one of the 70 thorns of the crown of Christ and two other relics of San Dionisio and Santa Genoveva.
Two-thirds of the roof:
The walls of the cathedral have been fully standing, but according to Riester, two-thirds of the roof came down, which means about 1,000 square meters.
The three rosettes representing the flowers of paradise, built in the thirteenth century at the same time as the whole building, have been affected, but “apparently have not suffered catastrophic damage,” according to Riester.
What was saved in the Notre-Dame Cathedral Fire?
The statues of the twelve apostles and the four evangelists:
They were around the needle, on top of the deck, and were removed from there last week with a crane to be restored, and therefore have been saved.
The largest organ:
Of the three organs of the cathedral, it is known that the largest, one of the most famous in the world with five keyboards and about 8,000 tubes, has remained intact. It is located right at the entrance of the building, one of its parts that have less suffered.
The towers and the facade:
Authentic gems of Gothic art, the North and South towers and the Notre-Dame façade, which give the cathedral its iconic image. On this façade is the Porch of Judgment, sculpted and installed between 1220 and 1230, from the story of the Gospel of San Mateo.
The Treasure of Notre-Dame:
It was one of the first things that were extracted. Inside that “treasure” is the linen tunic of King St. Louis , of the thirteenth century, a crown of thorns which was believed to have been worn by Jesus Christ and which was bought by King Louis IX in 1239 and other relics of the Passion of Christ, like a nail of the crucifixion and a piece of the cross. Cops and Firefighters Form Human Chain to Save Jesus’ Crown of Thorns from Notre-Dame Cathedral Fire.
The “Mays” paintings:
Around fifty paintings are known as the “Mays”, which are part of a series of 76 given by the Goldsmiths’ guild of Paris in homage to the Virgin Mary between 1630 and 1707, were inside the cathedral.
Some of them were extracted and transferred to the City Council. The rest have remained inside, in the side chapels of the ships.
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Riester said that the damages that have been appreciated so far in the paintings are due more to smoke than to fire. They probably will not be able to get out until Friday for security reasons and, when that is done, they will move to the Louvre for restoration.
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