Fire torches top of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Flames are seen during a fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Flames are seen during a fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

There was no immediate word on the cause of the blaze, but the structure has been undergoing a $6.8 million renovation project, including work on its spire. The cause of the fire remains unclear. The French leader also praised the "courage" and "great professionalism" of firefighters who battled the blaze for approximately four hours. Just last week, 16 copper statues representing the Twelve Apostles and four evangelists were removed by crane in order to begin renovations on the delicate spire. Their original position was at the cathedral's peak, 300 feet up. He said that the Crown of Thorns, and the tunic of St. Louis have been rescued.

The building itself may not be so lucky.

On Monday, footage captured a massive fire atop Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris's most famous building. "Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame", he said.

Distraught Parisians and stunned tourists gazed in disbelief as the inferno raged at the cathedral, which sits on the Ile de la Cite, an island in the River Seine and marks the very center of Paris.

The imposing building was completed around 1260, but has been modified over the centuries.

Late Monday, signs pointed to the fire nearing an end as lights could be seen through the windows moving around the front of the cathedral, apparently investigators inspecting the scene.

The cathedral was immortalized in Victor Hugo's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", published in 1831, and has always been a subject of fascination in popular culture as well as the traditional art world.

Ronaldo nets 125th Champions League goal as Juve draw at Ajax
Ajax are still right in the tie, but left-back Nicolas Tagliafico will be suspended for the return after being booked here. The second leg is scheduled for Tuesday in Turin, with the victor to face Manchester City or Tottenham in the semi-finals.

A fire broke out at the world-famous cathedral sometime before 7 p.m. local time Monday evening. One fire fighter was seriously injured. "Notre-Dame is a symbol of our ability as human beings to unite for a higher objective - to build breathtaking spaces for worship that no one person could have built on their own".

"It feels like the end of the world", one user wrote.

"I hope that the Paris fire brigade will get the fire under control as soon as possible". Hard to see how [to] tackle this.

The former United States president called Notre Dame "one of the world's greatest treasures". "We express our solidarity with (the) Church in France". "I invite each and every one to respect the perimeter of security".

The TV images of the blaze transfixed viewers around the world, as flames ravaged the church that has towered over Paris for centuries and had come through long-range German bombardment during World War I and was spared damage during World War II.

It is a focal point for French Roman Catholics who like Christians around the world are celebrating Holy Week, marking the death and resurrection of Jesus.

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