Published: Wed, April 17, 2019
Arts&Culture | By Matthew Castillo

Insurers expect France to bear Notre-Dame rebuilding cost

Insurers expect France to bear Notre-Dame rebuilding cost

The metal rooster which perched on the top of Notre Dame's spire was found in the rubble on Tuesday and appears to have been spared the worst of the fire. François-Henri Pinault initially said he would give 100 million euros, or about $113 million.

People may perhaps also take comfort from Emmanuel Macron's vow to rebuild the cathedral "even more beautiful" within five years.

So far, pledges for rebuilding have exceeded $700 million.

"The worst has been avoided, but the battle isn't fully won yet", President Macron said in an impassioned speech outside the cathedral.

French banks also made donations to the restoration of the cathedral. It was hit when the spire collapsed, said Laurent Prades, heritage director for Notre Dame.

Sparks and flames are seen through a destroyed stained glass window as the Notre Dame Cathedral burns in Paris, France, April 15, 2019.

The 850-year-old cathedral is a well-known tourist destination for Japanese people and many of those who were planning to visit the architectural, cultural, and religious landmark during Golden Week are devastated by Monday's fire, travel agents said.

Culture and Heritage Minister Nathalie Roy said she was saddened about the incident and that Quebecers are affected by what has happened to their French cousins.

Archbishop Christian Lépine organized the mass at the city's Notre-Dame Basilica, which is inspired by the historic church in France. Among those questioned are workers at the five construction companies involved in work renovating the church spire and roof that had been under way when the fire broke out.

A senior figure in France's Muslim community has called upon French Muslims to donate to the reconstruction efforts on Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral.

French football club Toulouse will have the image of the Notre Dame cathedral on their shirts for their Champions Cup semi-final against Leinster this weekend, the president announced.

"The organ is a very fragile instrument, especially its pipes". But no one can tell whether it has been damaged by water or will need to be restored.

Bertrand de Feydeau is the vice president of preservation group Fondation du Patrimoine.

The fire at the 856-year-old cathedral began Monday evening local time.

Specialised craftsmen and rare materials are expected to be needed to restore Notre Dame, which is seen as an emblem of France and, more broadly, a symbol of Western civilisation that has survived revolutions and war.

"What we saw last night in Paris was our capacity to mobilize and to unite", Macron said, hailing France as a nation of "builders".

The cost of a likely multi-year restoration project could itself take a year to become clear, industry experts said. "Now I wish I had", she said. A 100m crane lowered the copper statues representing the 12 apostles and four evangelists onto a lorry.

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