PARIS — The fire is out at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Based on the latest reports, University of Notre Dame architecture professor John Stamper said it seems the most iconic piece of the cathedral built in the middle ages have been saved.
“The other thing I was worried about were the two rose windows on the north and south transept arms,” Stamper said. “I think the largest of those two rose windows, it looks like they have been saved.”
The fire completely destroyed the cathedral’s roof and the spire. However, firefighters were able to keep the flames from consuming the two bell towers and the facade.
They were also able to save sacred relics such as part of the crown of thorns said to be worn by Jesus when he was crucified.
Paris prosecutors are wasting no time investigating the cause of the fire. Authorities believe it likely started accidentally; they have already ruled out arson or terrorism.
Notre Dame’s spire had been undergoing an extensive renovation and at the time of the fire it was wrapped in scaffolding. It’s possible the fire’s origins are linked to the work that meant to restore and protect the holy site.
French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to rebuild the 850-year-old cathedral. French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault wants to donate 100-million-dollars toward efforts to rebuild.
Pinault, who is married to actress Salma Hayek, is the CEO of the group behind names like Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, among others.
(PHOTO: NurPhoto/Getty Images)