The Notre Dame Cathedral fire on Monday destroyed several of the church’s iconic elements, both inside and outside, and threatened the very existence of the church itself. And though it appears, for now, as if the structure proper is going to survive, Paris officials, joined by art historians and Catholic Church leaders, are assessing the damage to both the building proper and the artifacts within.
Here is a list of what is known to have survived Monday’s fire, accurate as of this writing.
The Structure Itself (Largely Saved)
For now, it appears as if the church itself – its floors, its exterior walls, the two towers on the western side of the building – survived the fire. That is, of course, a good thing, but is far from the end of the story. Europe is littered with the exterior shells of once-great churches that have been destroyed by fire, bombs, and neglect. And while it was feared at one time that the Cathedral of Notre Dame may suffer the same fate, it appears that such danger has passed.
However, other parts of the structure proper were destroyed. See this companion Inquisitr report for further details.
Priceless Art, Religious Artifacts (Many Saved, Many Others Believed To Be Destroyed)
Like just about any other (standing) European cathedral, Paris’ Notre Dame had been home to countless works of art and religious artifacts of incalculable significance, according to Slate.
— New York Post (@nypost) April 16, 2019
Fortunately, it appears that good timing may have saved many of the artifacts. That’s because the very thing that is believed to have started the fire at the church in the first place – ongoing renovations – may have played a role in the artifacts’ salvation. Many were removed from the church days or weeks ago to make room for the work. Others were placed in a secure vault deep within the church.
Perhaps the most significant artifact in the cathedral’s expansive art and relic collection is an artifact known as the Crown of Thorns, said to have been placed on the head of Jesus of Nazareth before his crucifixion. It survived.
Major art pieces and sacred items from the Notre Dame cathedral, including the Crown of Thorns and the Tunic of Saint Louis, were saved from the fire, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said in a tweet https://t.co/iZpofWBEvu pic.twitter.com/VJ6OSEWJix
— CNN (@CNN) April 16, 2019
Other relics, including the Tunic of Saint Louis, also survived.
Stained Glass Windows (Some Saved, Some Destroyed)
As of this writing, it remains unknown which of the cathedral’s stained glass windows were destroyed and which survived. However, it appears as of this writing that the famed “Rose Windows” survived, according to Global News, as did most of the other stained-glass works.
— Globalnews.ca (@globalnews) April 16, 2019
Various Statues, Bells, Other Religious Objects (Saved)
Bronze statues of the 12 Apostles were among the objects moved out of the building before the fire started, and they are safe. Also safe are many (but not all) of the church’s fame stained glass windows, its organ (which may have suffered water damage but is believed to be repairable), its bells, including the famed Emmanuel Bell, which is rung only on important occasions, such as the end of World War II and the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
This list is accurate as of this writing. However, much of the information contained herein is based on conflicting reports, and officials are still assessing the damage. The fate of other objects, such as a fragment of wood believed to have come from the very cross on which Jesus was crucified, remains unknown as of this writing.