The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on Tuesday offered assistance to France for the reconstruction of iconic Notre Dame Cathedral which suffered severe damages after a massive blaze engulfed the 13th-century gothic monument on Monday. "Two-thirds of the largest medieval roof of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has "gone" after the devastating fire in Paris on Monday evening, but UN cultural experts are standing by to offer help where it is needed in rebuilding the iconic structure," UNESCO World Heritage Centre Director Mechtild Rossler said.
After paying a visit to the Parisian architecture on Tuesday, Rossler said, "Many people are still in a state of shock, because it's not only the Christian community, it's a building for all of us." "It's a universal symbol and it's the centre of France ...I think this is really shocking people profoundly and they lost something that is part of their identity," she added.
Rossler noted that UNESCO has prepared a team of experts to investigate the stability of the stonework and potential damage to stained glass windows. Her announcement came a day after UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, in a statement, said that a "rapid damage assessment" would be carried out as soon as possible with the authorities. Meanwhile, three French billionaire families, including LVMH Group, Kering and L'Oreal, have donated a cumulative amount of 700 million Euros to help the reconstruction of the Cathedral, CNN reported.
French President Emmanuel Macron also said that he planned to launch a national fundraising campaign to rebuild the centuries-old cathedral. The violent blaze, the origin of which remains unknown, shook the entire world as people voiced their sadness upon seeing centuries of history go up in flames. Considered as the "beating heart" of French Catholicism, Notre Dame is viewed as a religious symbol by Christians who are currently observing the Holy Week.
A few of the most coveted relics in Christianity, including the Holy Crown, which many believe to be from the crown of thorns placed on the head of Jesus, were safely rescued from the fire. Catholics have prayed to the crown at Notre Dame for more than 16 centuries now, according to the cathedral. The Cathedral is part of the World Heritage site of "Paris, Banks of the Seine" inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1991.