On Monday, tourists crowded the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, marveling at the iconic structure, one-of-a-kind artwork and stunning architecture.
On Tuesday, the same structure was dark and largely empty, after a massive and rapid inferno tore through it the previous evening.
Here’s a look at what the Gothic cathedral looked like before, and what it looks like now.
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What was saved
Parisians crowded the centre of the city Monday, watching as firefighters worked to successfully save much of the building.
The fire spared its twin medieval belltowers, and a frantic rescue effort saved the monument’s “most precious treasures,” including the Crown of Thorns purportedly worn by Jesus.
The iconic stained glass Rose windows appeared to have survived — a stroke of luck given the difficulty of reproducing such ancient glass.
The Roman Catholic cathedral’s famous 18th-century organ that boasts more than 8,000 pipes was also reportedly saved, after a plan to safeguard the masterpieces and relics was quickly put into action after the fire broke out Monday.
Sixteen copper statues of saints, which usually adorn the spire of Notre Dame, had a “miraculous” escape from the fire, after being removed last week for restoration work.
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What was damaged
But there was extensive damage as well.
The outside of the building is charred; the roof and the spire have fallen.
Inside, charred segments of the structure litter the floor.
Rebuilding process will take years
French President Emmanuel Macron pledged on Tuesday that France would rebuild the historic building within five years.
“We will rebuild Notre Dame even more beautifully and I want it to be completed in five years. We can do it,” he said in a prime time televised address.
And there is strong public support for the restoration.
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Just a day after the fire, more than 750 million euros (US$845 million) had been pledged, including 500 million from the three billionaire families that own France’s giant luxury goods empires: Kering, LVMH and L’Oreal.
But some say repairs are much more complicated and will take longer.
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Peter Fuessenich, who oversees reconstruction for the Gothic cathedral in Cologne, Germany, said it could take decades to repair Notre Dame.
Cologne Cathedral was heavily damaged during World War II and work to repair it is still ongoing more than 70 years later.
— With files from Reuters and The Associated Press
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