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Notre-Dame firefighters 'exemplary' says Macron

View of the rear of Notre-Dame Cathedral after a massive fire devastated large parts of the gothic structure in Paris
View of the rear of Notre-Dame Cathedral after a massive fire devastated large parts of the gothic structure in Paris Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron Thursday hailed the 'exemplary' actions of firefighters in battling the Notre-Dame blaze, as he hosted them for a ceremony at the Elysee Palace on Thursday.

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"The country and the entire world were watching us and you were exemplary," Macron told 300 people who helped in the fire on Monday night. "You were the perfect example of what we should be," he added.

600 firefighters were involved in combatting the fire on Monday night and they succeeded in limiting the damage and saving Notre Dame’s iconic towers and façade.

Macron visited the scene as the fire raged on Monday night and on Tuesday in a special address to the nation, he hailed the “heroism” of those who risked their lives beating back the flames.

Later today, firefighters and others involved in the effort to save Notre Dame will attend a special tribute at Paris City Hall, hosted by the Mayor, Anne Hidalgo.

View of the rear of Notre-Dame Cathedral after a massive fire devastated large parts of the Gothic structure in Paris, France.
View of the rear of Notre-Dame Cathedral after a massive fire devastated large parts of the Gothic structure in Paris, France. April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

Crumbling stonework

Meanwhile France’s Culture minister, Franck Riester explained today that there are still areas of major weakness in the remaining structure of Notre Dame.

Major work is underway to steady the upper gable of the northern transept, which is in danger of collapsing.

The top part of the the western gable, between the two towers, is leaning over because the statue of an angel at the top was so badly burned. Specialists hope to remove the statue today.

Meanwhile the stonework at the corner of the southern belfry became so hot that it has begun to crumble and an operation is underway to try to retrieve the stone chimera.

The Vault is being reinforced with further scaffolding.

President Macron has launched a project to have the damaged part of the Cathedral rebuilt by 2014.

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