Insurers expect France to bear Notre-Dame rebuilding cost

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It was hit when the spire collapsed, said Laurent Prades, heritage director for Notre Dame. Macron is holding a special Cabinet meeting Wednesday dedicated to the Notre Dame disaster, which investigators believe was an accident possibly linked to renovation work.

Parisian Beatrice Champetier arrived to lay flowers - it was the least she could do, she said, for a building that "is our life".

The French president has said he would seek help from the "greatest talents" in the world to rebuild Notre Dame, and many governments said they were considering contributions to what would be a significant architectural undertaking.

The tourist's picture was taken about an hour before the Notre Dame Cathedral began to burn.

The blaze - which was discovered at 18:43 (16:43 GMT) on Monday and was not fully extinguished until nearly 15 hours later - destroyed most of the cathedral's roof and led to the collapse of its iconic spire. Contributors include Apple and magnates who own L'Oreal, Chanel and Dior, as well as Catholics and others from around France and the world.

"Just thinking what can I do to help to stop it, but when the fire got a hold of the church, it just, just like Notre Dame, went up in flames", said Cuff.

"When the tower, that central tower fell, it was a moan and a gasp from the crowd in Paris, exactly as there was in St. Boniface when the bell towers collapsed", Mailhot said Tuesday morning.

"In the meantime, the church was evacuated because a Mass just started a bit earlier, " Heitz said.

Some criticism has already surfaced among those in France who say the money could be better spent elsewhere, on smaller struggling churches or helping workers.

French football club Toulouse will have the image of the Notre Dame cathedral on their shirts for their Champions Cup semi-final against Leinster this weekend, the president announced.

The costs of improving fire safety at United Kingdom cathedrals is usually left to their own fundraising efforts, although several of them used money from the £40m First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund to pay for work to reduce the risk of fire. A plan to safeguard the masterpieces and relics was quickly put into action after the fire broke out.

He called Notre Dame a "priceless treasure of Christian and world culture" and said Russian Federation is ready to send the "best specialists" to help rebuild it. It is purported to be a relic of the crown placed on the head of Jesus Christ at his crucifixion, obtained and brought to Paris by King Louis IX in the 13th century.

But Mr Philippe posed the question of "whether we should even recreate the spire as it was conceived by [French architect] Viollet-le-Duc. or if, as is often the case in the evolution of heritage, we should endow Notre-Dame with a new spire". This engraving from 1800 shows the cathedral before the famous spire was added in the 19th century.

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