Notre Dame altar and cross remain miraculously untouched after fire
Notre Dame cathedral, an iconic 850-year-old French building, has been devastated by a major fire. The blaze toppled its iconic 300-foot spire, and cathedral spokesperson Andre Finot has told French media that the medieval marvel sustained "colossal damage." Firefighters have now managed to extinguish the inferno, but the church building has been gutted, and its roof has collapsed.
Here's the heartbreaking footage of Notre Dame's spire collapsing:
However, in the midst of the tragedy, a photo has emerged from the interior of the building, taken in the aftermath of the terrible fire, which appears to show that the altar and cross have been left largely undamaged. The image was uploaded to Twitter, and some more religiously-minded people are calling it a miracle.
However, on social media not everyone thought that the preserved altar was the result of divine intervention. For instance, one person with the handle @myberkeley3 wrote "It was made of materials that can withstand the heat. Having said that, it is such a relief to see the nave being largely intact. For that, I thank the designer and the builder of the church!"
Meanwhile, someone else called @JussrR stated: "It's in the part of the cathedral that was protected by the stone roof which is still largely intact; most of what's inside there made it through. The cross was not miraculously spared; it's just that this is a close-up shot that doesn't show most of the rest."
French President Emmanuel Macron has already pledged to launch an international fundraising campaign to rebuild the cathedral, stating to reporters: "I’m telling you all tonight — we will rebuild this cathedral together. This is probably part of the French destiny. And we will do it in the next years. Starting tomorrow, a national donation scheme will be started that will extend beyond our borders."
The fire reportedly began in the attic of the building at 5.50pm and is thought to be the result of restoration and renovation work conducted on the premises. A Paris prosecutor has launched an investigation into the "involuntary destruction by fire," according to a cathedral spokesperson.