The Paris prosecutor's office said it was treating the fire as an accident, ruling out arson and possible terror-related motives, at least for now. "It's the place where we live our greatest moments, from wars to pandemics to liberations", he said.
"This belongs to the world, as an art treasure", he said.
Despite the dramatic image of the flaming cathedral, no one was killed.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said in a Twitter message that Paris firefighters were still trying to limit the fire and urged Paris citizens to respect the security perimeter that has been set around the cathedral.
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More than 100 people have been arrested in London as police deal with ongoing climate change protests, Scotland Yard said. They plan to engage in acts of non-violent civil disobedience against governments in capital cities around the world.
"The task is - now the risk of fire has been put aside - about the building, how the structure will resist", he continued.
The student's hope what was damaged during the fire can be fixed, because they can't imagine returning home and not having the cathedral there.
Nearby buildings were evacuated as fears mounted that the structure could collapse. Speaking alongside junior Interior minister Laurent Nunez late Monday, police chief Jean-Claude Gallet said "two thirds of the roofing has been ravaged". "Now I'm wondering how much more the Catholic Church commits to this or do you think they first want to get to the bottom of it?"
Bertrand de Feydeau, vice president of preservation group Fondation du Patrimoine, told France Info radio that the wooden roof that went up in flames was built with beams more than 800 years ago from primal forests. Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit invited priests across France to ring church bells in a call for prayers for the beloved Paris cathedral. He vowed that France would rebuild Notre Dame because it's their "destiny". Some 13 million people visit it every year.
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