Some historic items safe despite Notre Dame Cathedral fire

Medieval statues removed for restoration days before blaze

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist, Associated Press

The religious statue representing St. Paul perched atop Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral descends to earth for the first time in over a century as part of a restoration, in Paris Thursday, April 11, 2019. The 16 greenish-gray copper statues, which…

PARIS - Some of Notre Dame's centuries-old statues are safe despite the devastating fire at the in Paris cathedral Monday. Just days before the fire, workers carefully removed more than a dozen medieval statues from the cathedral's spire as part of a a $6.8 million renovation project.

A massive fire engulfed the roof of the cathedral in the heart of the French capital on Monday afternoon as Parisians watched in horror.

"Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame," Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told French media.

The cathedral's spire, which was undergoing a major restoration project, collapsed.

On April 11, 16 greenish-gray copper religious statues, which represent the 12 apostles and four evangelists, were lowered down for the first time in over a century as part of a restoration project.

Moving the 3-meter-tall statues offered a close-up look at the historic statues for onlookers. The figures regular posts look over the Paris from Notre Dame's 96-meter-high peak.

The statues were lowered by a 105-yard crane and loaded onto a truck to be taken for restoration in southwestern France, according to the Associated Press.

On Monday, French media quoted the Paris fire brigade saying the fire is "potentially linked" to the renovation work. For updates on the fire, click here.

The cathedral, which dates back to the 12th century and is famous for featuring in Victor Hugo's classic novel the Hunchback of Notre-Dame, attracts millions of tourists every year.

Officials said Monday more historic architecture and items from the cathedral were also saved from the blaze.

Parisian Mayor Anne Hidalgo said the significant collection art work and holy objects kept inside the church has been recovered.

The fire chief in Paris said his crews managed to stop the flames from reaching the belfry and prevented a catastrophic collapse.

View photos below of the statues that were moved April 11.

View from the top of the Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral with the Eiffel Tower in background as the religious statues descend to earth for the first time in over a century as part of a restoration, in Paris Thursday, April 11, 2019. (AP…


 

The religious statues with St. Thomas in reference to French architect Eugene Viollet Le Duc, at right, perched atop Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral, are loaded on a truck as part of a restoration, in Paris Thursday, April 11, 2019. The 16…

 

A worker looks on as the religious statue representing St. Andrew perched atop Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral descends to earth for the first time in over a century as part of a restoration, in Paris Thursday, April 11, 2019. The 16…

 

The religious statue representing St. Andrew perched atop Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral descends to earth for the first time in over a century as part of a restoration, in Paris Thursday, April 11, 2019. The 16 greenish-gray copper statues,…

The religious statue representing St. Andrew perched atop Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral descends to earth for the first time in over a century as part of a restoration, in Paris Thursday, April 11, 2019. The 16 greenish-gray copper statues,…

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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