$1 billion raised to rebuild Paris' Notre Dame after fire

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionA look inside fire-ravaged Notre Dame cathedral

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionA look inside fire-ravaged Notre Dame cathedral

Even though no lives were at risk - pilgrims were led to safety earlier in the evening - these soldats de feu, or "soldiers of fire" as they are also referred to, were relentless in their efforts as they battled for nine hours to keep Notre Dame standing. François-Henri Pinault initially said he would give 100 million euros, or about $113 million.

Mailhot recalls that people rescued items from the St. Boniface Cathedral as the roof burned, and apparently the same thing happened at Notre Dame.

L'Oreal promised 200 million euros (£172.7m) on Tuesday, while the LVMH luxury goods group run by Bernard Arnault, the richest man in France, has pledged the same.

"The worst has been avoided, but the battle isn't fully won yet", President Macron said in an impassioned speech outside the cathedral.

Pledges worth around 700 million euros ($790 million) have already been made Tuesday from French billionaires and businesses to restore the Gothic masterpiece.

"Notre Dame was destroyed but the soul of France was not", Michel Aupetit, archbishop of Paris, said on RMC radio.

Firefighters work at Notre-Dame Cathedral after a massive fire devastated large parts of the gothic gem in Paris, France on April 16, 2019.

Images from inside the cathedral Tuesday showed its enormous walls standing proud, with statues still in place and a gleaming golden cross above the altar.

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The fire has also promoted fundraising among Americans, with New York-based French Heritage Society and the Go Fund Me crowdsourcing platform among the first to offer help.

Pope Francis is praying for French Catholics and the Parisian population "under the shock of the awful fire" that ravaged the Notre Dame cathedral.

According to cathedral guides, the rooster had acted as "spiritual lightening rod" to protect the Notre Dame faithful. Among those questioned are workers at the five construction companies involved in work renovating the church spire and roof that had been under way when the fire broke out.

French football club Toulouse will have the image of the Notre Dame cathedral on their shirts for their Champions Cup semi-final against Leinster this weekend, the president announced. President Emmanuel Macron has vowed the mediaeval monument will be restored after its spire and roof collapsed Monday night in a spectacular blaze thought to be linked to renovation work.

"The organ is a very fragile instrument, especially its pipes".

Click on the button below in order to donate toward the restoration of the historic cathedral. We rebuilt Warsaw from the ruins ourselves.

But experts had warned a full restoration will take many years. "I'd say decades", said Eric Fischer, head of the foundation in charge of restoring the 1,000-year-old Strasbourg cathedral. A 100m crane lowered the copper statues representing the 12 apostles and four evangelists onto a lorry.

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