IN IMAGES: See inside the fire-ravaged Notre-Dame cathedral

The whole of France and much of the world were on tenterhooks on Tuesday as they waited to hear and see how badly Notre-Dame cathedral had been ravaged by the blaze that ripped through the historic building.

IN IMAGES: See inside the fire-ravaged Notre-Dame cathedral
Photos: AFP

These photos were published by AFP and showed the inside of the cathedral where it appears that only part of the vault had collapsed due to the blaze.

There were hopes that much of the inside of the Cathedral had been spared, thanks to the fact the stone vaults largely held in place.

READ ALSO French billionaire pledges 100 million euro as Notre-Dame flames finally brought under control




Paris firefighters declared the blaze under control at around 4am local time, and efforts have now switched to making sure the building is safe.

An investigation has also been launched into the cause of the blaze, which the Paris prosecutor said at this early stage was being treated as an accident.

It had been suggested that the blaze was linked to restoration works being carried out at the 850-year-old building, and some workmen at the site have already been spoken to by investigators.







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Notre-Dame restoration work begins as Paris cathedral on track to reopen in 2024

France's Notre-Dame cathedral is finally ready to undergo restoration work more than two years after a blaze ravaged the heritage landmark, and remains on course to reopen in 2024, authorities said Saturday, following months of painstaking work to secure the building.

Notre-Dame restoration work begins as Paris cathedral on track to reopen in 2024

The great mediaeval edifice survived the inferno on April 15th, 2019, but the spire collapsed and much of the roof was destroyed.

The focus until now had been on making the cathedral safe before restoration work could begin, which included the strenuous task of removing 40,000 pieces of scaffolding that were damaged in the blaze.

“The cathedral stands solid on its pillars, its walls are solid, everything is holding together,” said Jean-Louis Georgelin, head of the public entity tasked with rebuilding the cathedral.

Scaffolding in the interior of the building as the restoration phase begins. Photo by Thomas SAMSON / POOL / AFP

“We are determined to win this battle of 2024, to reopen our cathedral in 2024. It will be France’s honour to do so and we will do so because we are all united on this goal.”

The aim is to celebrate the first full service in the cathedral on April 16th, 2024 – five years after the fire – despite delays caused by the pandemic and the lead that spread during the blaze.

The Notre-Dame spire, a later addition to the medieval building, was completely destroyed in the blaze. Photos by AFP

Authorities will now call for tenders to select the companies to carry out the restoration work.

The cathedral’s interior walls and floors will also undergo “a thorough cleaning process” later this month.

Notre-Dame’s famous Grand Organ is already being restored, with its 8,000 pipes dismantled and sent to organ builders all over France.

It is expected to be put together again in October 2023, said Georgelin, the former head of France’s armed forces who was appointed by President Emmanuel Macron to oversee rebuilding efforts.