Hero priest rescued Crown of Thorns from Notre Dame cathedral fire

Salma Hayek and Francois Henri Pinault are

Salma Hayek and Francois Henri Pinault are

The Guardian credited the firefighters for creating a wall of water between the blaze and the two towers, where the cathedral bells hang.

A crown of thorns, believed to have been worn by Jesus Christ and which was bought by King Louis IX in 1239 is seen at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in a file photo.

Offers of practical assistance have flooded in from across Europe: Poland's President Andrzej Duda has extended the service of his country's reconstruction experts, famed for their restoration of Warsaw buildings razed to the ground in World War II; while the York Glaziers Trust in Britain, which restored the windows of York Minster cathedral when it was gutted by fire in 1984, has volunteered its expertise.

"Obviously, Notre Dame de Paris is like an global, iconic structure - 800-years-old - this building (the St. Boniface Cathedral) was 60-years-old".

"The cathedral ruins are still one of the more popular tourist destinations an Winnipeg and Manitoba".

A wrought copper statue of a rooster that sat atop Notre-Dame has been found "battered" in the debris of the Paris cathedral following its devastating fire, France's culture ministry said.

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Air pollution has done extensive damage to the cathedral's facade, eroding the stonework and its famous gargoyles, but it has received only two million euros ($2.2m) a year in state funding - far short of what is required.

"What I remember is, walking towards the cathedral, was this ball of flame", he said. Paris Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Gregoire said it was among pieces quickly transported to a "secret location" by officials after the fire.

The Friends of Notre Dame, a society founded to foster the preservation of the cathedral, has held concerns about the building's structural integrity for a long time.

Notre-Dame was in the midst of renovations and industry sources said the contractor would have its own liability policy.

'We have been able to salvage all the rest, ' said Mr Prades, who witnessed the recovery first hand overnight.

Laurent Prades says the high altar, which was installed in 1989, was hit and harmed by the cathedral's spire when it came crashing down in the flames.

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Following news of the fire, many Japanese people expressed their sadness online with posts ranging from "I'm terribly sad because I've always wanted to visit the cathedral" to "I'm in shock and distressed".

"It was the focal point of the parish", he said.

Officials are now trying to determine how much of the cathedral is structurally sound. The fund for repairing Notre-Dame has already passed €800m (£700m).

"We had lost it 50 years ago".

"Our history never stops and that we will always have trials to overcome", he said.

A postcard shows St. Boniface Cathedral's interior before the fire.

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Philippe Lefebvre plays the organ at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris in 2013.

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