Hundreds of millions pledged to rebuild ravaged Notre Dame cathedral

Flames and smoke billow around the gargoyles decorating the roof and sides of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Flames and smoke billow around the gargoyles decorating the roof and sides of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the NY archbishop, said New Yorkers were united in sorrow with Parisians, who can "count on our love, prayers, support and solidarity".

Statues removed just days ago for restoration work were also spared.

Most of the roof has been destroyed, its steeple has collapsed and an unknown number of artifacts and paintings have been lost.

Officials said the world famous 18th century organ that has 8,000 pipes also appeared to have survived.

View of the Notre Dame cathedral after the fire in Paris, Tuesday, April 16, 2019. "That cathedral saw Paris grow". "And we can do it".

"We have everything to be able to rebuild it in exactly the same way", Riester told France Inter, adding that the government was looking at ways to encourage donations.

"It was the pride and joy of the old city of St. Boniface, which referred to itself as the Cathedral City", said Mailhot.

Images from the cathedral's interior show the extent of the damage. The main spire and clock collapsed, but the two main towers were saved.

As support poured in from all quarters, emotional and financial, French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to rebuild the cathedral "within five years".

Aside from the structure, art experts were concerned about the fate of countless priceless artworks and artifacts inside.

US President Donald Trump relayed Americans' "condolences" to Macron over the fire, the White House said.

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Previously it was hard to see the firefighters as they tackled the fire and stopped it from destroying the bell towers.

What remained was a blackened shell of the monument immortalised in Victor Hugo's 1831 novel "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", a building that had survived nearly 900 years of tumultuous French history but was devastated amid renovation works at the start of Catholic Easter week.

It is not clear what caused the blaze, although fire officials said the blaze may be linked to renovation work at the building.

Rhone is a French department situated in the east of the country.

Within 24 hours of Monday's blaze, French companies and local authorities had pledged more than 700 million euros to rebuild the cathedral, including 500 million from the three billionaire families that own France's luxury goods empires Kering, LVMH and L'Oreal.

The construction of Notre-Dame de Paris began in 1163 and was completed in 1345.

But experts had warned a full restoration will take many years.

Meanwhile, major travel agency H.I.S. Co says the reservation status for Paris since the beginning of January has risen to eighth most popular from 11th place previous year.

The landmark Gothic cathedral located in the heart of the French capital caught flames on Monday evening.

Many more came Tuesday to the banks of the river Seine to gaze at where the roof and steeple once stood. Two police officers and a firefighter were slightly injured. The crown is believed to have been worn by Jesus Christ at the time of his crucifixion.

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