Notre Dame fire: What could be lost in the Paris cathedral fire?

Notre Dame was engulfed in a pillar of flames today, as the 12th-century French landmark suddenly caught fire. French firefighters have been tackling the flames since 6.30pm today when the alarm was triggered. One firefighter has been seriously injured, but officials have said the building’s frontage has been saved. However some parts of the building and its contents may never be recovered. 

What might have been lost in the Notre Dame fire? 

The building has a wealth of paintings and statues stored inside, some dating from early on in the cathedral’s life. 

Firefighters had focussed on saving these paintings as the flames spread seemingly out of control. 

The building is also home to precious stained glass windows.

The South Rose window is one of the most important stained glass windows on the site.

The window was created in 1260, and offered by King St. Louis as a counterpoint to the north window which was built in 1250.

The window has seen significant damage before, as during the 1830 revolution it was severely altered and had to be partially reconstructed.  

Notre Dame has three rose windows in total, which it boasts via the main website “constitute one of the great masterpieces of Christianity.”

Talking to The Guardian, Margot Fassler, a professor of theology and an expert on Medieval cathedrals at US-based University of Notre Dame revealed what might have been lost.

She said: “The Cathedral ‘Notre Dame de Paris’ is the cradle of late medieval music.

“Much of the imagination of those involved in European, religion, culture and music is tied to this place.

“Late 12th- and early 13th- century polyphonic repertory created at Notre Dame has provided an understanding of how musicians learned to capture rhythm in their notational systems.”

“The innovative musicians Adam of St. Victor, Leonin, and Perotin were all connected to the cathedral in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

“Although the building has been constantly reshaped over time, much of the architecture and sculpture dates back to the original building, which was completed in around a century beginning in the 1160s.

“The thirteenth-century rose windows and the organs are assumed to be among the casualties.”

French officials have confirmed the cathedral’s iconic two towers have been saved by firefighters.

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