The University of Notre Dame in Indiana clarified over social media that it was not burning as news spread that the Notre Dame Cathedral was being ravaged by flames in Paris, France.
The US school tweeted just before 2pm Eastern on Monday, ‘A clarification: A fire is currently burning at @notredameparis, not the University of Notre Dame. Our prayers are with all those involved.’
French President Emmanuel Macron said the fire was a national emergency late on Monday.
Macron praised the ‘courage’ and ‘great professionalism’ of 400 firefighters working to contain the blaze, while announcing the launch of a fundraising campaign to restore Notre Dame.
‘The worst has been avoided although the battle is not yet totally won,’ Macron said.
The University of Notre Dame in Indiana clarified over social media that it was not burning as news spread that the Notre Dame Cathedral was being ravaged by flames in Paris, France. Notre Dame in Paris is shown, being overtaken by flames on Monday
The US school tweeted just before 2pm Eastern on Monday, ‘A clarification: A fire is currently burning at @notredameparis, not the University of Notre Dame. Our prayers are with all those involved’
The University of Notre Dame (shown) is located in Indiana, while the famed Notre Dame Cathedral is located in Paris
The structure of Notre Dame has been saved after a huge fire destroyed parts of the famous cathedral, including two-thirds of the roof and one of the belfries, according to a fire chief in Paris.
The Northern belfry, seen on the left from the west side of the Cathedral, has been saved from flames spreading wildly.
‘The fire will go on for several days. I would like to thank the firefighters on behalf of the nation,’ Macron said.
‘At this time, the worst has been avoided. Even if the building hasn’t been completely destroyed, the next few hours will be difficult, but thanks to the efforts of so many, the facade has been saved.’
The fire began on Monday evening, with first reports emerging of smoke in the cathedral shortly before 6pm local time (12pm Eastern).
The fire began on Monday evening, with first reports emerging of smoke in the cathedral shortly before 6pm local time (12pm Eastern)
The extent of the damage of the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is shown
Notre Dame Cathedral is located along the River Seine in Paris, which is the capital of France
The last visitors of the day were evacuated and the Paris Fire Brigade began to fight flames which had emerged from the cathedral’s roof.
A French official said that while the source of the fire was unknown, it could have been linked to renovation works to fix Notre Dame’s historic stone walls and buttresses.
The fire first brought down the cathedral’s 315-foot (96-meter) spire, and spread to one of its two towers, which form its famed frontage.
Notre Dame is one of the city’s oldest and most recognizable buildings, and work began on it in 1163.
The fire first brought down the cathedral’s 315-foot (96-meter) spire, and spread to one of its two towers, which form its famed frontage. The steeple engulfed in flames is shown collapsing as the roof of the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral burns on Monday
The original structure was completed nearly 200 years later, in 1345, and its name literally translates to ‘Our Lady of Paris.’
Some 13 million people now visit the Catholic landmark every year – more than 30,000 every day on average – according to its official website, and it is believed to be the most visited structure in the French capital.
Its renovation works were estimated to cost around 150 million euro ($170 million).
‘Tomorrow a national subscription will be launched for people around the country to help rebuild this great Notre Dame, because that’s what the French people want. That is what their history requires. Because that is our destiny,’ Macron said on Tuesday.
‘Notre Dame is our history, our imagination, where we’ve lived all our great moments, and is the epicentre of our lives.
‘It’s the story of our books, our paintings. It’s the cathedral for all French people, even if they have never been. But it is burning and I know this sadness will be felt by all of our citizens.’
Paris Mayor Anne Hildalgo said the significant collection of artworks and holy objects kept inside the church had been recovered.
The priceless artworks and religious relics that were at risk in the flames devastating Notre Dame included the Crown of Thorns said to have been placed on the head of Jesus before he was crucified, a piece of the True Cross on which he is said to have died and a nail from the crucifixion.
The relics were obtained from the Byzantine Empire in 1238 and brought to Paris by King Louis IX.
Notre Dame is also home to priceless paintings dating back to the 1600s, including a series known as the Petits Mays, gifted to the cathedral once a year from 1630 to 1707.
A priest wipes the Crown of Thorns, a relic of the passion of Christ, at Notre Dame de Paris
The crown is an interleaved ring of reeds, the thorns having been separated and displayed at churches across the medieval world
Catholics believe the relic is the ‘crown’ placed on Jesus’ head in mockery as he was crucified
Among the most celebrated artworks are three stained-glass rose windows high up on the west, north and south faces of the cathedral.
Notre Dame’s Great Organ, which dates back to the 13th century and was restored in the early 1990s, is considered the most famous in the world, with five keyboards and nearly 8,000 pipes.
The cathedral also contained a spectacular series of carved wooden stalls and statues representing the Passion of the Christ.
Last night firemen at the scene said all efforts were being directed at saving artwork in the cathedral and preventing the collapse of its northern tower.
‘Everything is collapsing,’ a police officer near the scene said as the cathedral continued to burn.
The ten bells of Notre Dame are renowned across Europe and the first nine are named Marie, Gabriel, Anne-Genevieve, Denis, Marcel, Etienne, Benoit-Joseph, Maurice, and Jean-Marie.
The final and largest, known as the bourdon bell Emmanuel, weighs more than 13 tonnes. It sits in the southern tower and has been a part of the building since 1681.
The largest bell, known as the bourdon bell Emmanuel, weighs more than 13 tonnes
A worker of the Socra art conservation company holds the head of the statue of the apostle Saint Andre, built by architect Viollet-le-Duc, on the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral before it was temporarily removed as part of the restoration work, just days ago
The magnificent rose window on the south of the building depicts scenes form the life of Christ
Saint Peter statue in the in Notre Dame de Paris cathedral treasure museum
In 1944, Emmanuel was rung in celebration and triumph by French troops and allies to announce to the city that it was on its way to liberation.
The famous gargoyles and chimera that adorn Notre Dame were built in the 19th century by architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc. The original purpose of the gargoyles was to assist with the building’s drainage, but they have become one of its most-loved features.
In the 1790s, Notre Dame was desecrated during the French Revolution when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed and its treasures plundered.
The 28 statues of biblical kings located at the west facade, mistaken for statues of French kings, were beheaded.
All of the other large statues on the facade, with the exception of that of the Virgin Mary on the portal of the cloister, were destroyed.
The 16 copper statues which decorate the roof of the Notre Dame de Paris are removed for restoration works
Last month cranes lifted the massive copper statues from their positions on the cathedral walls
The cathedral was restored over 25 years after the publication of the book The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo in 1831 brought it into the spotlight.
Sixteen statues that were part of the cathedral’s now-destroyed spire are safe and unscathed, as they were removed as part of a renovation a few days ago.
The green-grey statues, representing the 12 apostles and four evangelists, were apparently lowered by cranes from the site and taken away.
Late on Monday French prosecutors said they have ruled out arson for now, and do not believe the fire was terror-related.
They said police will conduct an investigation into ‘involuntary destruction caused by fire.’
Late on Monday French prosecutors said they have ruled out arson for now, and do not believe the fire was terror-related. They said police will conduct an investigation into ‘involuntary destruction caused by fire.’ Notre Dame Cathedral is shown burning on Monday