Priceless art and artifacts inside
Some of the treasures inside Notre Dame were reported saved, although officials have yet to release a full inventory of what was saved from the fire and what was lost. A centuries-old crown of thorns made from reeds and gold, and the tunic worn by Saint Louis, a 13th century king of France, were safely retrieved, Notre Dame’s top administrative cleric, Monsignor Patrick Chauvet said, according to Reuters. But firefighters had struggled to take down some of the cathedral’s large paintings in time, he said.
Cause under investigation
Authorities have not yet released any information on the cause of the fire and said it would be investigated. The fire may potentially involve renovation work that was being carried out at the site, the fire service said. Extensive scaffolding covered a portion of the roof as part of the $6.8 million project before the fire broke out.
Vatican expresses “great shock and sadness”
The Vatican expressed “great shock and sadness” about the fire at Notre Dame, which occurred during Holy Week leading up to Good Friday and Easter. It called the cathedral “a symbol of Christianity in France and in the world.”
In a statement, the Vatican said, “We express closeness to the French Catholics and the people of Paris and we assure our prayers for the firefighters and those who are doing everything possible to face this dramatic situation.”
President Trump: “It’s part of our culture”
President Trump commented on the fire Monday afternoon as he attended a roundtable conference in Minnesota. He called it “a terrible sight to behold.”
“It’s one of the great treasures of the world,” he said. “It’s part of our culture, it’s part of our lives. That is a truly great cathedral and I’ve been there, I’ve seen it, and there is… no cathedral in the world like it. It is a terrible scene.”
The president added, “It looks like it’s burning to the ground.”
Former President Obama on mourning and rebuilding
Former President Barack Obama posted a photo of his family visiting Notre Dame along with a message that said, “Notre Dame is one of the world’s great treasures, and we’re thinking of the people of France in your time of grief. It’s in our nature to mourn when we see history lost – but it’s also in our nature to rebuild for tomorrow, as strong as we can.”
Notre Dame Cathedral’s epic history
Notre Dame was constructed in 1163 during the reign of King Louis VII and was completed in 1345. The cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a worldwide Parisian icon and the location of some of the most important moments in the history of France. Henry VI of England was crowned inside the cathedral in 1431 and Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned Emperor of France inside the cathedral in 1804.
The cathedral receives 12 to 13 million visitors a year and is home to countless paintings, sculptures and other priceless works of art. It had been undergoing renovations after cracks began to appear in the stone, sparking fears the structure could become unstable.
James Shepherd, director of preservation and facilities at the Washington National Cathedral, spoke with CBSN on Monday about Notre Dame’s epic history.
“That’s 800 years of history of people pilgrimaging there, and worshiping there, and the accumulation of culture,” Shepherd said by phone. “All of that will have to be taken into consideration as they try to repair this church and save it after this devastating fire.”
Shepherd spoke of Notre Dame’s “stunning and exclusive stained-glass windows,” which appear to have been destroyed in the fire. He called them “absolutely priceless and some of the best examples of European stained-glass windows.”
“This is a culturally devastating moment for the city of Paris, the country and the world,” Shepherd said.
Researchers reveal changes to astronaut’s body
Retired astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent 340 days in space during an extended stay aboard the International Space Station in 2015-16, did not suffer any major long-term health effects that might raise warning signs for future long-duration flights, scientists reported Thursday. CBS News space consultant Bill Harwood joins CBSN with details.