Saudi Arabia offers France support after Notre Dame blaze

Perth Cricketer Ashton Agar outside Notre Dame just hours before the iconic building was ablaze

Following Monday's devastating fire that destroyed large portions of the Notre-Dame de Paris, Ubisoft has made a decision to donate €500,000 to help with its restoration and reconstruction, and is even offering Assassin's Creed Unity for free on PC via Uplay in honor of the famed cathedral.

Around 60 firefighters and other personnel are now monitoring any potential "hot spots" still present in the ravaged structure that might cause it to collapse, Paris fire brigade spokesman Lt. Col. Gabriel Plus told a briefing.

Despite extensive damage, numerous cathedral's treasures were saved, including Notre Dame's famous rose windows, although they are not out of danger.

Mr Pericolo worked on the restoration of the 19th-century Saint-Donatien basilica, which was badly damaged by fire in 2015 in the French city of Nantes.

French President Emmanuel Macron wants to restore the iconic structure to its full glory within five years.

Addressing his nation, Macron said Notre Dame's burning was shocking for France and the world.

Pledges of almost $1 billion have been made by ordinary worshippers and wealthy magnates, including those who own L'Oreal, Chanel and Dior.

The government was gathering donations and setting up a special office to deal with big-ticket offers.

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"The global competition will allow us to ask the question of whether we should even recreate the spire as it was conceived by Viollet-le-Duc", Philippe told reporters.

Construction teams brought in a huge crane and a delivery of planks of wood to the site Wednesday morning. Firefighters were still examining the damage and shoring up the structure.

Public prosecutor Remy Heitz has said the investigation promises to be "long and complex".

Patrick Lejeune, president of the Notre-Dame neighbourhood merchants association, told The Associated Press that the group's 150 employees fear for the future.

"But if the reconstruction we did for the game can help to enthuse people for the reconstruction, or if it allows people to visit (virtually) while they're waiting to go one day ... that will already be our contribution". Its spire collapsed and the roof was destroyed in the fire.

Bustling streets are now "totally closed".

Bells of cathedrals across France rang in a moving tribute Wednesday to Notre Dame as firefighters and experts continued to keep the beloved but weakened landmark under close surveillance.

It's literally the nucleus of Paris - all distances in France are measured from the esplanade in front of Notre Dame.

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