WorldPolice question Notre Dame workers
Crown of Thorns saved from Notre Dame fire
The Notre Dame cathedral in Paris is home to ancient relics held sacred by Catholics, and as the structure burned on Monday, there were fears that all of the irreplaceable items inside might be destroyed. By late Monday, police announced that the fire was under control, and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo shared some good news: The Crown of Thorns, a relic believed to have been worn by Jesus Christ, was safe, along with the Tunic of Saint Louis. She also said several pieces of artwork made it out unscathed, but did not specify which pieces. © Phillipe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images The Crown of Thorns.
Parisians and tourists have flocked to the left bank of the River Seine to grieve the devastation caused to Notre Dame Cathedral, as authorities warn about the safety of the structure of the famed church.
French interior minister Christophe Castaner told reporters overnight after a brief visit to the cathedral that it is "under permanent surveillance because it can still budge."
He added that state employees will need to wait 48 hours before being able to safely enter the cathedral and take care of the art works that are still there.
Notre Dame an inspiration in film, music and books
The Notre-Dame de Paris, which sustained a devastating fire Monday, has inspired writers, painters and filmmakers for hundreds of years. Here are some notable examples:PAINTING: Henri Matisse painted it often— in intimate blue, a distant green, a pinkish haze. It served as a melancholy backdrop for William-Adolphe Bouguereau's "The Bohemian," while the interior provided a golden, grandiose aura for Jacques-Louis David's "The Coronation of Napoleon." How To Get A Home Loan With 5% Deposit Find out more on Finder Ad Finder.com.
"We will be standing at (Notre Dame's) bedside,” he said.
Police have begun questioning the workers involved in the restoration, the prosecutor's office said, adding that the fire was probably caused by accident.
"We are favouring the theory of an accident," Paris public prosecutor Remy Heitz said, adding that 50 people were working on what was expected to be a long and complex investigation into “involuntary destruction by fire”.
Just over 24 hours since the blaze, millions of dollars have already been raised to assist in the rebuilding of the magnificent structure.
Rival French Billionaires Pledge Nearly $600 Million to Rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral
Rival French Billionaires Pledge Nearly $600 Million to Rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral
Poland, Germany and two of France’s wealthiest families are among those who have already donated to the rebuild effort.
Businessman Francois-Henri Pinault and his billionaire father Francois Pinault said they were immediately giving 100 million euros ($158 million) from their company, Artemis, to help finance repairs.
A statement from Francois-Henri Pinault said: "This tragedy impacts all French people" and "everyone wants to restore life as quickly as possible to this jewel of our heritage."
That donation was then trumped by French tycoon Bernard Arnault and his luxury goods group LVMH, which pledged 200 million euros ($315 million).
LVMH called the cathedral a "symbol of France, its heritage and its unity."
Global competition to design new Notre Dame spire
The French prime minister has announced an international architects' competition to rebuild the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral. Edouard Philippe revealed the bold new future plans for the famous church after a special Cabinet meeting held by French President Emmanuel Macron, focusing on the reconstruction of the cathedral. Philippe said the competition would aim at "giving Notre Dame a spire adapted to technologies and challenges of our times." He said authorities had no estimate yet of the total cost of the renovation work. Macron said Tuesday he wants the cathedral to be rebuilt in five years.
French companies Total and L'Oreal also pledged 100 million euros ($158 million) to support the reconstruction.
Total, the oil and gas giant, said it would contribute "to help the reconstruction of this architectural jewel."
Australia too is also set to help, with Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fischer said he is looking about what the Catholic community’s response will be.
“We’re discussing at the moment, setting up some kind of fund," he told 2GB.
The fire, fully extinguished around 15 hours after it began, ravaged the 850-year-old church after it broke out around 6.30pm local time just after the doors closed to the public.
It took 400 firefighters to bring it under control, and new footage shared by the local authorities shows the monumental effort it took to control flames.
Crews attacked the blaze from cherry pickers and from the ground, with water bombers unable to help because of the further damage they could cause to the structure.
The fire swiftly ripped through the cathedral's timbered roof supports, where workmen had been carrying out extensive renovations to collapsed balustrades and crumbling gargoyles, as well as the spire's wooden frame, which later collapsed as hundreds watched on.
Trump offers Pope Francis, Macron US help with Notre Dame
President Trump said Wednesday that he spoke on the phone with Pope Francis and offered U.S. assistance in rebuilding Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral, as he did in an earlier conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron. "Just had a wonderful conversation with @Pontifex Francis offering condolences from the People of the United States for the horrible and destructive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. I offered the help of our great experts on renovation and construction," Trump tweeted. ....in my conversation yesterday with President @EmmanuelMacron of France.
One firefighter was injured.
From the outside, the imposing bell towers and outer walls, with their vast flying buttresses, still stand firm, but the insides and the upper structure have been eviscerated.
The artworks evacuated from the cathedral as the fire took hold, which include relics such as the Christ's crown of thorns and French king Saint-Louis's 13th century tunic, are now being transferred to the Louvre Museum after they were first taken to the city town hall.
Staff from the fire department, the culture ministry and the city town hall rushed to the Cathedral when the fire first started, in a bid to protect the main artworks inside and, in some instances, passing them out one-by-one in a human chain.
Copper statues representing the Twelve Apostles and four evangelists were removed by crane last week as part of the restoration work.
President Macron described the fire as a “terrible tragedy” but added the "worst had been avoided."
He said he wants to rebuild within five years.
"I'm telling you all tonight - we will rebuild this cathedral together. This is probably part of the French destiny," he said. "Starting tomorrow, a national donation scheme will be started that will extend beyond our borders."
Mystery man in viral photo taken hour before Notre Dame Cathedral fire identified
The photo was shared Monday with thousands of retweets searching for the mystery man.
Messages of support
Messages of support have come in from across the world to off their condolences to France.
Queen Elizabeth II said she was "deeply saddened" to see the cathedral ablaze, and expressed "sincere admiration to the emergency services who have risked their lives to try to save this important national monument."
Scott Morrison, Bill Shorten, Pope Francis, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen all expressed their sadness.
The Obamas were among people sharing memories of past visits to the cathedral. Former President Barack Obama posted an old photo of himself, his wife Michelle and their two daughters lighting candles there and expressed his grief.
Michelle Obama was in Paris on Monday on a book tour. "The majesty of Notre Dame - the history, artistry, and spirituality - took our breath away, lifting us to a higher understanding of who we are and who we can be," she tweeted.
NOTRE DAME FIRE: WHAT WE KNOW
Drunk on smoke: Notre Dame's bees survive cathedral blaze
Hunkered down in their hives and drunk on smoke, Notre Dame's smallest official residents — some 180,000 bees — somehow managed to survive the inferno that consumed the cathedral's ancient wooden roof. Confounding officials who thought they had perished, the bees clung to life, protecting their queen. "It's a big day. I am so relieved. I saw satellite photos that showed the three hives didn't burn," Notre Dame beekeeper Nicolas Geant told The Associated Press on Friday. "Instead of killing them, the CO2 (from smoke) makes them drunk, puts them to sleep," he explained.
-The 850-year old building was engulfed in flames just after it closed for the day. One firefighter has been injured.
-French Interior Ministry officials say firefighters have been able to save the building, plus relics have survived - but the historic wooden structure inside is feared destroyed.
-The French president has vowed to rebuild, with Gucci billionaire François-Henri Pinault already pledging 100m Euro and luxury goods group LVMH doubling that.
Pictures: Notre Dame cathedral burns
Paris: Yellow vest anger mixes with Notre Dame mourning.
French yellow vest protesters have set small fires as they marched through Paris on Saturday to drive home their latest message to the government: that rebuilding the fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral isn't the only problem the nation needs to solve. Police repeatedly fired tear gas on stone-throwing protesters on the margins of the largely peaceful march, one of several actions around Paris and other French cities. They're marking the 23rd straight weekend of yellow vest action against wealth inequality and President Emmanuel Macron's leadership. Security was extra-high in Paris as authorities braced for resurgent yellow vest anger.
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