What treasures were saved in Notre Dame
April 17, 2019
NOTRE DAME'S TREASURES AND THEIR FATE:
CROWN OF THORNS
The cathedral's most sacred relic, the Crown of Thorns was saved. It is purported to be a relic of the crown placed on the head of Jesus Christ at his crucifixion, brought to Paris by King Louis IX in the 13th century. It is made of rushes wrapped into a wreath and tied with gold filament. Since 1896 it has been kept under glass and only occasionally displayed. Paris Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Gregoire said it was among pieces quickly transported to a "secret location" by officials after the fire. Mayor Anne Hidalgo also said the tunic of St Louis, a long shirt-like garment from the 13th century and believed to have belonged to King Louis IX, was also rescued.
FRAGMENT OF THE HOLY CROSS AND NAIL
The 24-centimetre piece of wood and 9-centimetre-long nail are purported to be from the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified. The wood fragment is kept in a glass case. The fate of the two relics is not known.
The impressive organ dating to the 1730s and boasting an estimated 8000 pipes did not burn and is intact but nobody knows yet whether it was damaged by the heat or water. "The organ is a very fragile instrument," Bertrand de Feydeau, vice-president of the Fondation du Patrimoine which protects France's cultural heritage, tells The Associated Press. He says the organ has "incredible" sound, with "very rich colours," and there is a waiting list of more than two years of organists wanting to play it. Each pipe was individually cleaned during a 2013 refurbishment.
The cathedral's roof was built using a lattice of giant beams cut from trees in primeval forests in the 12th and 13th centuries. Experts say France no longer has trees big enough to replace the ancient wooden beams. Feydeau says the cathedral's roof cannot be rebuilt exactly as it was before the fire because "we don't, at the moment, have trees on our territory of the size that were cut in the 13th century". He said the restoration work will have to use new technology to rebuild the roof.
Following the French Revolution, the cathedral was declared a "Temple of Reason" as part of an anti-clerical movement. All of the original bells were destroyed and replaced except for one, called Emmanuel and weighing 13 tons. In 2013, as the cathedral celebrated its 850 years with a refurbishment, nine huge new bells replaced the 19th-century ones. The extent of any damage to the bells and their support structure is unclear.
About a dozen large paintings of religious scenes, called "Mays" and dating from between 1630 and 1708, hung in Notre Dame. French Culture Minister Franck Riester says the cathedral's greatest paintings will be removed starting on Friday. "We assume they have not been damaged by the fire but there may be damage from the smoke," he said.
Last week, 16 religious statues were removed from the top of Notre Dame for the first time in over a century to be taken for cleaning. The removal was part of a restoration of the cathedral's towering spire, now gone. The 3-metre-tall copper statues represent the 12 apostles and four evangelists.
STAINED GLASS WINDOWS
The cathedral's three famed rose windows date to the 13th century. The director of UNESCO says it's too early to tell whether they are unscathed.
Millions pledged to rebuild Notre-Dame
Deutsche Presse Agentur
April 17, 2019
President Emmanuel Macron has vowed that France will rebuild fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral within five years.
"There is a great deal to be rebuilt," Macron said in a televised address to the nation following Monday's devastating blaze at the iconic Paris landmark.
"We will make the Cathedral of Notre Dame even more beautiful. We can do this," he said.
"I share your sorrow and I also share your hope," Macron said at the close of the brief speech on Tuesday.
The 850-year-old structure went up in flames late on Monday in a blaze that is believed to have started accidentally.
The French government was mobilising efforts to rebuild it. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe held a ministerial round for consultations on reconstruction, with Culture Minister Franck Riester and the minister for public accounts, Gerald Darmanin, in attendance.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said she would hold a donor conference.
Meanwhile, major French companies and the Ile-de-France government responsible for Paris pledged hundreds of millions of euros towards the reconstruction effort.
Two rival billionaire families announced the biggest pledges.
The LVMH luxury goods group of French billionaire Bernard Arnaud said it would donate 200 million euros ($A316 million) while the Bettencourt Meyers family and luxury and cosmetics group L'Oreal followed suit several hours later by pledging the same amount.
The donations follow a 100-million-euro pledge for the reconstruction of Notre Dame from Kering luxury goods company owner Francois Henri Pinault and an announcement by the Ile-de-France region, which contains the French capital, that it would put forward 10 million euros.
It is unclear what the total cost of reconstruction will be.
Leaders of countries around the world expressed condolences and pledged their support.
Queen Elizabeth says she and her husband, Prince Philip, were "deeply saddened" to see the images of the fire.
"My thoughts and prayers are with those who worship at the cathedral and all of France at this difficult time," the Queen said in a message to Macron.
Prince Charles sent a separate message to Macron, saying he and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, were "utterly heartbroken to learn of the terrible fire".
Pope Francis offered prayers and solidarity for French Catholics and the people of Paris, and said he hoped the cathedral could be rebuilt.
In a tweet, Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said the Pope "offers his prayers to all those who are striving to tackle this tragic situation."
Russia offered assistance to France, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying: "We really have some of the world's best specialists in restoring medieval monuments.
European Council President Donald Tusk called on all 28 EU member states to help rebuild the cathedral while recalling his home city of Gdansk in Poland, which was rebuilt after World War II following widespread destruction.
"You will also rebuild your cathedral," Tusk said during a European Parliament session in the French city of Strasbourg.
"I know that France could do it alone, but at stake here is something more than just material help," Tusk said, adding: "We are bound by something more important and more profound than treaties."
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that Berlin stood ready to give its support as a close friend of Paris. A government spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel had earlier said that it "hurts to see these terrible pictures of the burning Notre Dame".
AOUN CABLES MACRON: Notre Dame Cathedral Fire Pains us
16 Apr 2019
Lebanon - President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, expressed his deep sorrow over the fire that ravaged the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
He said in a telegram addressed to French President Emmanuel Macron: "The Lebanese of all affiliations regarded this distinctive place as an essential part of themselves. Today, they stand by the French people in their plight to affirm the long-standing friendship with France, in the hopes that this religious, humane and historic edifice would soon rise from the ashes."
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
The Kuwait Amir expresses his sorrow over Notre Dame fires
KUWAIT-- His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent a cable Tuesday to French President Emmanuel Macaron, expressing his deepest regret and sorrow over the massive blaze engulfed the historic landmark Notre Dame Cathedral.
His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah sent similar cables.