A year on from the inferno which devastated the Notre Dame, France’s world-famous cathedral will sound its bell in tribute to frontline workers fighting the Covid-19 pandemic

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Reconstruction work to begin on Notre Dame Cathedral CREDIT: Shutterstock

On the anniversary of the blaze which rocked the world and ripped through Notre-Dame de Paris on April 15, 2019, the cathedral’s historic bell will sound at 8pm (7pm GMT) in honour of the health workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

IT will be the second time the bell has sounded since the inferno which engulfed the roof and the spire and came dangerously close to destroying the 850-year-old cathedral completely.

NOTRE DAME FIRE: The cathedral ablaze in France’s capital city. Photo credit: Twitter

Part of the structure undamaged was the southern belfry which houses the 13-tonne, 350- year-old bell, France’s second largest.

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And its second sounding in 12 months will take place at the same time Parisians take to their balconies to applaud health workers battling against the outbreak which has claimed the lives of almost 16,000 people in France.

The only other time the Bourdon bell has sounded since the fire was in tribute to former president, Jacques Chirac, who died last September.
This morning, President Emmanuel Macron, pledged to restore Notre Dame to its former glory within five years, but said structural work is running months behind schedule due to the pandemic and winter storms, reports reuters.com.
FORMER GLORY: The 850-year-old cathedral.
Around 400 firefighters were drafted in, tackling the blaze for hours as the nation watched on in horror and disbelief as the most famous Catholic cathedral was engulfed in fast-moving flames.
Macron said at the time: “Notre-Dame is aflame. Great emotion for the whole nation. Our thoughts go out to all Catholics and to the French people. Like all of my fellow citizens, I am sad to see this part of us burn tonight.”

 


NOTRE-DAME INFERNO: A fire official said the Notre Dame’s structure and two towers had been saved from total destruction. Photo credit: Twitter

Former UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, tweeted: “My thoughts are with the people of France tonight and with the emergency services who are fighting the terrible blaze at Notre-Dame cathedral.”

Spain’s PM Pedro Sanchez also posted: “The fire of Notre Dame is a catastrophe for France. And it is for Spain and for Europe. The flames devastate 850 years of history, of architecture, of painting, of sculpture. It’ll be hard to forget. France can count on us to regain the grandeur of its heritage.”


The cause of the fire was found to be accidental, with prosecutors still trying to determine whether it was the result of faulty wiring in the renovation works or a discarded cigarette.





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