Hero priest rescued Crown of Thorns from Notre Dame cathedral fire

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionA look inside fire-ravaged Notre Dame cathedral

On Monday night the whole world turned its eyes to Paris, France, where the cathedral Notre Dame caught on fire.

Although the fire caused massive damage to the famed Gothic edifice in central Paris, the city's fire chief, Jean-Claude Gallet, said firefighters saved the building's two iconic towers and stone structure.

Shortly after an impassioned speech by President Emmanuel Macron, in which he said the full restoration for the cathedral would be "part of the French destiny", several of the country's wealthiest citizens opened their wallets to help foot the bill.

It was followed on Tuesday by a 200-million-euro pledge from Kering's rival luxury conglomerate LVMH and the family of its founder Bernard Arnault, France's richest person.

The cathedral's roof can not be rebuilt exactly as it was before the fire because "we don't, at the moment, have trees on our territory of the size that were cut in the 13th century", he said, adding the roof restoration work would have to use new technologies.

Air pollution has done extensive damage to the cathedral's facade, eroding the stonework and its famous gargoyles, but it has received only two million euros ($2.2m) a year in state funding - far short of what is required.

There is no indication that the fire was linked to terror but ISIS fanatics have revelled in the damage to the 850-year-old landmark, a symbol of Western civilisation, just days before Easter. "All together", Macron said late Monday, adding that the cathedral is "part of our French destiny".

Mailhot recalls that people rescued items from the St. Boniface Cathedral as the roof burned, and apparently the same thing happened at Notre Dame.

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Notre Dame's heritage director Laurent Prades said the high altar, which was installed in 1989, was hit and harmed by the cathedral's spire when it came crashing down in the flames, but many other relics and structures had been saved.

"A vast flame, fierce and strong, fragments of which were borne away by the wind with the smoke". Major travel agencies said Tuesday they were trying to ease concerned travelers who had their sights set on seeing Notre Dame, Sankei Shimbun reported.

France has vowed to rebuild the beloved Parisian landmark after the fire gutted the roof and ruined the spire.

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.

Even so, repairing the cathedral - including the wooden beams that made up its roof - presents problems.

"Now I wish I had", she tweeted.

The cost of a likely multi-year restoration project could itself take a year to become clear, industry experts said.

Head of French Builders Federation posts picture of the restorer holding a green-coloured rooster statue.

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