Donors Pledge Some $790Mln to Restore Iconic Notre Dame After Devastating Blaze

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

This service comes the day after a massive fire tore through Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and the sight of that iconic building burning really hits home.

"When the tower, that central tower fell, it was a moan and a gasp from the crowd in Paris, exactly as there was in St. Boniface when the bell towers collapsed", Mailhot said Tuesday morning.

French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to rebuild the beloved Roman Catholic architectural landmark, and wanted to see it completed within five years.

However, there are concerns that even the $1 billion pledged so far may not be able to replace what was lost in the blaze - it also depends on the availability of materials.

A tourist is looking for what she believes to be a dad and daughter whom she photographed sharing a heart-warming moment outside the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris just before the historic landmark caught fire. In an interview with the Associated Press, he noted that the cathedral's roof can not be rebuilt exactly as it was before the fire because "we don't, at the moment, have trees on our territory of the size that were cut in the 13th century".

Though "some weaknesses" in the 850-year-old structure had been identified, overall it is "holding up OK", he added. A spokesperson said tour groups will probably still want to have a look at the cathedral, although French officials are not allowing any members of the public to get too close.

Japan's government said it would consider sending support.

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Mr Frederic Letoffe, co-president of a group of French companies that specialise in work on older buildings and monuments, said Notre-Dame had fire detectors that functioned continuously, and was equipped with dry risers - empty pipes that firefighters can externally connect to a pressurised water source.

The exact cause of the blaze wasn't known, but French media quoted the fire brigade as saying it was "potentially linked" to a 6 million euro ($6.8 million) renovation project on the church's spire and its 250 tons of lead. Major travel agencies said Tuesday they were trying to ease concerned travelers who had their sights set on seeing Notre Dame, Sankei Shimbun reported.

The Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit told RMC radio, "Notre-Dame was destroyed but the soul of France was not".

Parisian Beatrice Champetier arrived to lay flowers - it was the least she could do, she said, for a building that "is our life".

But experts warned a full restoration will take many years.

He has heard others in Winnipeg speak of the hurt they feel at the loss of Notre Dame, but he also thinks his parishioners will feel a sense of gratitude as they celebrate Easter this weekend. He called the structure "a part of us", referring to the country of France, and he asked for help repairing it. A 100m crane lowered the copper statues representing the 12 apostles and four evangelists onto a lorry.

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