Monday the 17th of May

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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Hopes for some of Notre Dame’s priceless artefacts

The Notre Dame Cathedral housed priceless artefacts and objects of huge cultural and historical significance before the devastating fire.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo confirmed several of the most sacred had been saved, while culture minister Franck Riester said a others were being held under lock and key at the city hall.

Here are some of the famous objects and artworks associated with Notre Dame:

– Crown of Thorns
Purported to be a relic of the wreath of thorns placed on the head of Jesus Christ at his Crucifixion, the hallowed object was stored in the cathedral’s treasury.
French King Louis IX brought the relic, which is contained in an elaborate gold case, to Paris in 1238.
Ms Hidalgo said the Crown of Thorns had been taken into safekeeping.

– Tunic of Saint Louis
The simple garment, said to have been worn by Louis IX as he brought the Crown of Thorns to Paris, was also kept at the cathedral.
Ms Hidalgo said it had been saved.

– Rose Windows
Among the most famous architectural features of the Gothic masterpiece, the stained glass rose windows are treasured artworks in their own right.
The three rose windows, which date back to the 13th century, adorn the north, south and west facades.
There were hopes the windows had escaped being destroyed by the fire after firefighters stopped its spread.

– Great Organ
With nearly 8,000 pipes, some dating back to the 1700s, Notre Dame’s master organ is one of the largest in the world.
The monumental instrument, the largest in France, was fully restored in 2013 with each pipe cleaned.

– Bells
Housed in the two western towers, Notre Dame’s bells have rung out at key moments in France’s history.
Emmanuel, the largest bell, was lifted into the south tower in 1685 and weighs over 23 tonnes.
Victor Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre Dame, Quasimodo, was the cathedral’s bell-ringer.
The fire was prevented from spreading to the bell towers.

Picture: Stained glass windows visible within the remains of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, following a fire which destroyed much of the building on Monday evening. (Victoria Jones/PA).