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Tue Apr 16, 2019, 04:12 AM

France's Macron pledges to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral


France's Macron pledges to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral

French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday after the Paris landmark was partially gutted in a devastating fire.

"We will rebuild it together. It will undoubtedly be part of French destiny and our project for the years to come," Macron said at the scene of the smoldering 12th-century Gothic cathedral.

Macron said the "the worst had been avoided" after firefighters managed to contain the fire following a collapse of the spire and the wooden roof structure went up in flames. Miraculously, only a small part of the vault appeared to have collapsed into the interior and firefighters were able to save valuable relics and pieces of art.

Paris fire brigade chief Jean-Claude Gallet said the main structure of Notre Dame had been saved and preserved, as well as the two rectangular towers at its facade. The fire service said the blaze had been fully extinguished on Tuesday morning.

Laurent Nunez, state secretary in the Interior Ministry told French broadcaster BFM TV on Tuesday that the cause of the fire was still unknown and that authorities were still investigating how it could have started.

He added that the next step would be assessing how well the core structure had fared in the blaze and establishing if the building was stable. A group of architects and experts will be convened to decide how best to proceed.

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