Cross and altar still standing after Notre Dame Cathedral fire
Photographs from inside Notre Dame cathedral showed its cross and altar apparently still intact even after a devastating fire ravaged the 850-year-old landmark in Paris.
Firefighters officially extinguished the blaze early Tuesday after a 12-hour battle with the flames.
The images captured by Reuters' Philippe Wojazer showed the church's interior as debris was still smouldering early Tuesday. In one of the pictures, smoke was rising around the altar, but the stonework looked to be relatively intact.
The giant white cross behind the altar also appeared to be relatively unscathed even though much of the church was reduced to rubble and ashes.
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The cause of the fire remains unclear, but Parisian officials don't currently suspect terrorism or arson. Teams who had already been inside the charred building had found nothing to suggest the blaze had been started deliberately. The fire is believed to have begun in the attic or roof of the ancient building, according to Paris' public prosecutor.
The cathedral, which was currently undergoing $6.8 million renovations, receives nearly 13 million visitors a year and is home to exquisite religious artefacts, paintings, sculptures and other priceless works of art. A chaplain and a French official were among a group of people who formed a human chain to save many of the church's holy relics such as the Crown of Thorns believed the be worn by Jesus Christ.
Firefighters also managed to save the cathedral's landmark rectangular towers from the blaze, but a Paris deputy mayor, Emmanuel Gregoire, said the cathedral had suffered "colossal damages." French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to rebuild the landmark.