Notre-Dame blaze: How bad is the damage to Paris' iconic cathedral?

The Local France/AFP
The Local France/AFP - [email protected]
Notre-Dame blaze: How bad is the damage to Paris' iconic cathedral?

The blaze which swept through the famed Notre-Dame cathedral in central Paris on Monday left a trail of destruction. Here's what we know so far about the damage sustained by the monument.


On Tuesday junior Interior Minister Laurent Nunez told the press that "some weaknesses" had been identified in the structure of Notre-Dame a day after the cathedral was ravaged by a colossal fire.
"Overall the structure is holding up well, but some weaknesses have been identified particularly in the vault and the gable of the northern transept, which have to be secured," Nunez told reporters at the scene, adding that five neighbouring buildings had been evacuated.
The analysis was made by a group of experts, including the police and architects, who had been brought in to study the damage caused by the fire.
The tweet below takes a look at Notre-Dame before and during the fire. 
Here's a look at what we know about the damage so far. 

Photo: AFP

The spire

The collapse of Notre-Dame's famous spire shocked many during the fire. 

The flames spread until they completely engulfed the roof and then, slowly, the building's iconic spire toppled and collapsed.
The central lead-clad wooden spire, which rose 93 metres (300 feet) above the cathedral roof and weighed 250 tonnes, was in need of costly restoration because the lead, meant to protect the spire from the elements, was wearing thin.
It now needs to be rebuilt completely.




The roof completely collapsed during the fire, with charred debris from the collapsed roof found scattered on the ground on Tuesday morning.



On Tuesday morning France's minister of culture Franck Riester said three parts of the stone vault, pictured below, had collapsed.
The beautiful vaulting stonework forms the 'ceiling' of one of the main parts of the cathedral, and authorities are now worried about the intact pieces - given that there were huge amounts of water-filled charred wood from the collapsed roof laying on top of it.
"It's all very fragile," said Riester.


Photo: AFP

Stained glass
The cathedral's three impressive stained glass circular rose windows were built in the 13th century and renovated several times. 
The one on the south appeared to be intact on Tuesday, as did another on the western facade which lies between the two stone towers which can be climbed by tourists on the front of the cathedral.
AFP was unable to verify the state of the northern window.
However the Archbishop of Paris told BFM TV on Tuesday that all three windows had been saved.
They show prophets, saints, angels, kings and scenes of the daily lives of holy figures. At the centre of each is an image of either the Virgin Mary, Christ as a baby or Christ as king reigning over heaven.
Bell towers
There was also relief that much of the stonework as well as the two massive square bell towers were largely unscathed.
Over the coming days more detailed inspections will be made as other sections of the building cool and are made safe.


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