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Greece will contribute to Notre Dame restoration, says Culture Minister

Greece will contribute to efforts to restore the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, Greek Culture Minister Myrsini Zorba said on Tuesday.

Expressing her deep sorrow for the disaster, Zorba told Athens-Macedonian News Agency’s radio station ‘Praktoreio FM‘ that Greece will support the effort to restore the Cathedral.

“When we see a monument being destroyed before our eyes, a historical monument for Paris, we feel like we are losing something from our lives,” she said.

“The life of the monuments is linked with the life and the history of a place,” she added.

She did not elaborate, though, how the Greek contribution will be.

She also stressed the importance of being on guard regarding the protection of Greece’s own monuments. “The feeling that something may suddenly happen in a monument must make us understand the importance of better planning for the protection of the monuments,” Zorba said.

French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild the medieval cathedral of Notre Dame after a major fire partially destroyed the Paris landmark on Monday afternoon.

The fire began at around 18:30 (16:30 GMT) and quickly reached the roof of the cathedral, destroying its stained-glass windows and the wooden interior before toppling the spire.

Already, individuals and groups are mobilising to help rebuild Notre Dame. Hundreds of millions of euros have already been pledged.

Billionaire François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of the Kering group that owns the Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent fashion brands, pledged €100m (£86m; $113m) towards rebuilding Notre-Dame, AFP news agency reports.

Another €200m was pledged by Bernard Arnault’s family and their company LVMH – a business empire which includes Louis Vuitton and Sephora – on Tuesday morning, according to Reuters news agency.

The French charity Fondation du Patrimoine is launching an international appeal for funds for the cathedral, a Unesco World Heritage site.

Firefighters managed to save the 850-year-old Gothic building’s main stone structure, including its two towers, but the spire and roof collapsed.

The fire was declared under control almost nine hours after it started. The cause is not yet clear but officials say it could be linked to extensive renovation works under way.The Paris prosecutor’s office said it was currently being investigated as an accident.

Emergency teams managed to rescue valuable artwork and religious items, including what is said to be the crown of thorns worn by Jesus before his crucifixion, which were stored inside the cathedral built in the 12th and 13th centuries.

A tunic, which King Louis IX is said to have worn when he brought the crown of thorns to Paris, was also saved.

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