Macron vows fire-ravaged Notre Dame will be rebuilt within 5 years

Paris fire brigade members work outside the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday

Many critics have argued that the cathedral itself is the real hero of the work, which the writer and campaigner began in 1829 partly to draw attention to the importance of the French capital's gothic architecture, which at the time was being widely neglected, defaced or pulled down to make way for new buildings.

This screen shot made on April 16, 2019 shows French President Emmanuel Macron addressing the nation on French private TV channel TF1 during which he vows to rebuild Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral within five years, a day after a fire erupted in the 850-year-old landmark.

It came as the iconic rooster weathervane that topped the spire of Notre Dame before it was destroyed by fire has been found in the rubble.

Culture and Heritage Minister Nathalie Roy said she was saddened about the incident and that Quebecers are affected by what has happened to their French cousins.

Generous donors have pledged more than €750 million to rebuild France's fire-hit Notre Dame cathedral.

"We remember with grateful hearts the tolling of Notre Dame's bells on September 12, 2001, in solemn recognition of the tragic September 11th attacks on American soil".

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. Not only do they have a home near the cathedral but the couple were also married nearby in a civil ceremony 10 years ago.

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Businessman Francois-Henri Pinault and his billionaire father Francois Pinault said they were immediately giving 100 million euros from their company, Artemis, to help finance repairs to the cathedral devastated by fire Monday night. He added that the roof restoration work would have to use new technologies.

Philippe Lefebvre plays the organ at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris in 2013. It has not burnt, but no one can tell whether it has been damaged by water.

Winnipeg historian Philippe Mailhot, who witnessed the fire at the St. Boniface Cathedral on July 22, 1968 when he was 13, finds the similarities between the two blazes striking.

The heritage charity Fondation du Patrimoine said it was too early to estimate the cost of the damages.

Specialised craftsmen and rare materials are expected to be needed to restore Notre Dame, which is seen as an emblem of France and, more broadly, a symbol of Western civilisation that has survived revolutions and war.

"I can say for the moment that local firefighters are linked with the church, whether it's a big church or a small church", he said. We rebuilt Warsaw from the ruins ourselves.

The statues removed last week, three-metre-tall copper figures which looked over the city from Notre Dame's 96-metre-high peak, were sent to southwestern France for work that is part of a $6.8 million (6 million euro) renovation project.

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