Notre Dame’s organ survives the fire

Carla Harmon
April 17, 2019

Paris' deputy mayor says Notre Dame's organ, among the world's most famous and biggest, remains intact after a devastating fire at Paris' main cathedral.

Energy firm Total promised 100 million euros ($113m), while cosmetics group L'Oreal and the Bettencourt family said they would donate 200 million euros ($226m).

Macron has pledged to rebuild the cathedral, which is considered among the finest examples of European Gothic architecture and visited by more than 13 million people from around the world a year. The company said that it was "touched by the drama that brought together cultures and beliefs" in a statement released on its website. "Notre-Dame is part of the cultural heritage of mankind and a symbol for Europe", German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wrote on Twitter.

Now that the fire is out and we know that many of Notre Dame's precious relics have been saved, we can marvel at the 400 pompiers - or firefighters as we call them in English - who risked their lives running into the cathedral, uncertain whether the burning roof above them would collapse.

As the rooster was partially crushed when it fell off the spire, the extent of the damage to its contents is unknown.

The rooster has served as a "spiritual lightning" rod for Notre Dame, according to the cathedral's website.

"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".

Officials consider the fire an accident, possibly as a result of restoration work taking place at the global architectural treasure, but that news has done nothing to ease the national mourning.

Sadness which Mulaire now sees Parisians feeling in the aftermath of this latest blaze, a blaze which has many cherishing memories of seeing the Notre Dame Cathedral. President Emmanuel Macron has vowed the mediaeval monument will be restored after its spire and roof collapsed Monday night in a spectacular blaze thought to be linked to renovation work.

The 12th-century church is home to the organ, relics, stained glass and other works of art of incalculable value, and is a leading tourist attraction. It has not burnt, but no one can tell whether it has been damaged by water.

Major European insurers expect France to bear the bulk of the cost of rebuilding the Notre-Dame Cathedral after a fire tore through the eight-centuries-old Paris landmark on Monday.

Bertrand de Feydeau is the vice president of preservation group Fondation du Patrimoine.

Repairing the cathedral - including the 800-year-old wooden beams that made up its roof - presents challenges.

Meanwhile, major travel agency H.I.S. Co says the reservation status for Paris since the beginning of January has risen to eighth most popular from 11th place previous year.

"We have everything to be able to rebuild it in exactly the same way", Riester told France Inter, adding that the government was looking at ways to encourage donations.

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