Photos and videos on social media showing the famous 850-year-old Gothic building, covered in flames with a plume of smoke rising above the city shocked many as the Cathedral had stood and passed the test of time.
Notre Dame masterpiece, the greatest architectural treasures of the western world, had been undergoing restoration work before a blaze toppled the building’s spire on Monday night almost demolishing the entire wooden frame.
Shocked crowds watched as the blaze licked the roof almost demolishing the entire frame and the rooster collapsing to the ground on Monday evening as a fire engulfed the cathedral and destroyed its wooden and lead spire.
The rooster which contains religious relics including one of the 70 thorns of the Holy Crown of Jesus Christ, and remnants linked to Saint Denis, the Christian martyr and former bishop of Paris, and Saint Genevieve, the patron saint of the French capital, were feared to have been destroyed by the fire, was found dented but still intact.
As at Tuesday, the fire in the heart of Paris was brought under control by firefighters in the early hours of the morning, though officials warned there were still residual fires to put out.
France President Macron expressed his grief over the horrific event, vowing to raise funds worldwide and bring the best talents from around the world to reconstruct the building in its entirety by announcing an international fundraising campaign to raise money for the repairs.
As at Wednesday, two days after the appeal was launched ‘The billion-euro mark of donations €1,000,000,000′ was reached.
French billionaire François-Henri Pinault, the chairman and CEO of international luxury group Kering, pledged 100 million euros towards rebuilding Notre Dame. L’Oreal promised 200 million euros (£172.7m) on Tuesday, while the LVMH luxury goods group run by Bernard Arnault, the richest man in France, pledged the same. Multi-billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault and oil company Total also pledged 100 million euros (£87m) each.
President Emmanuel Macron claimed that the cathedral will be restored to its former glory ‘within five years’, ready for the Paris Olympics in 2024.