With the fire out in Notre Dame, French officials and historians are combing through the cathedral to take stock of what’s left. There was a lot saved. The two towers and facade at the front, what many people envision when they think of Notre Dame, they’re still standing. A Paris city hall spokesperson says the cathedrals most significant treasures were saved including what Notre Dame calls its most precious and venerated relic. A crown of thorns which many believe is the crown of thorns that was placed on the head of Jesus Christ.
The chaplain of the Paris fire service is being called a hero for rescuing that and other artifacts and the cathedrals great organ is safe. Scores of the relics that survived were taken to the Louvre Museum, what was lost the cathedral’s spire, large parts of its roof and it’s ancient vaulted ceiling. The central part of the building was damaged. The Paris Fire Brigade says it’s not known yet what caused the fire. A French government spokesman says it could be months before the full scope of the damage is known and a restoration expert expects it will take 10 to 15 years to fully rebuild Notre Dame.
The Vatican has offered its technical expertise in restoring the medieval catholic church and as far as funding goes, French philanthropists and businesses have pledged more than $700 million in donations to restore the cathedral. That gives you one sense about what Notre Dame means to France.