The almost 900 year old Notre Dame cathedral has been deemed structurally sound after a massive blaze roared through it, stunning and horrifying Catholics and onlookers worldwide.
However, portions of the historic structure were severely damaged.
“The conflagration that destroyed the wood-and-lead roof and lacy spire also left three “holes” in the sweeping vaulted ceiling, officials said after an inspection on Tuesday.”–New York Times
The Paris prosecutor, Rémy Heitz, described the coming investigation into the blaze as “a long and complex investigation,” but added, “Nothing at this stage suggests a voluntary act”, for now precluding the possibility that the fire was the result of deliberate arson.
The massive and historic Notre Dame cathedral houses a number of ancient and irreplaceable artifacts and is regarded as a sacred place of prayer, serenity, and worship for the world’s nearly 1 billion Catholics. It has long been considered one of the world’s most important historic buildings.
It was initially feared the building would collapse under the pressure of such intense flames and heat; firefighters struggled to put out the flames while trying to preserve the building’s core.
Plans to restore the damaged sectors are underway and several of the world’s billionaires have committed to supplying the funds to help make it happen.
However, the rebuilding is expected to take several years, according to reports.
Groundbreaking for the cathedral began in the year 1163 and did not fully complete until almost 200 years later.