Paris’s historic Notre Dame Cathedral suffered extensive damage in a massive fire on April 15. The blaze, which began around 6:30 pm local time, destroyed the church’s oak spire and threatened to consume the entire structure. The cause of the fire is not yet clear, but authorities said it appeared to be an accident linked to restoration work. The more than 800-year-old church, which is one of Paris’s most cherished attractions, has been in desperate need of repairs.
Paris fire officials said late Monday that the cathedral’s two main rectangular towers had been “saved and preserved.” The church’s trio of round stained-glass windows also appear to have survived. But the blaze consumed approximately two-thirds of the cathedral’s wooden roof. In Paris, natives and tourists mourned as the cathedral burned, lining the streets to pray and hold vigils for the monument.
Efforts to fund the reconstruction and renovation of the cathedral are already underway. According to Forbes, prominent French billionaires and businesses have already donated a combined €600 million (about $680 million) to rebuild Notre Dame, including the family behind L’Oréal and the luxury brand LVMH.