Notre Dame rector thanks Poles for their devotion to cathedral


Patrick Chauvet, the rector of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, thanked Poles for their support after the cathedral's partial destruction in a 2019 fire. Thursday marks the second anniversary of the disaster.

"We thank Poles for their attachment to the cathedral. Poles carry Notre Dame in their hearts. We thank you for your affection. We are very attached to the Polish elements in the cathedral," Chauvet told PAP.

Chauvet said the cause of the fire was still unknown and that inquiries into the matter were expected to take years.

He stated that the cathedral's reconstruction would take years, and added it should be ready to hold services by 2024.

A Polish chapel in the cathedral, which among others contains the relics of Polish-born Pope John Paul II, survived the fire intact.

Referring to the shock caused by the fire, Chauvet said that Notre Dame was a part of French history and the most important church for the Catholic community in Paris. In this context, he also mentioned the rescue of the relic venerated by Christians as the Crown of Thorns worn by Jesus, which he described as a "miracle."

The Notre Dame fire broke out on April 15 2019, shortly before 6:20 p.m. The blaze started beneath the cathedral's roof, most of which was destroyed together with the building's spire. Also severely damaged were the church's outer walls.

Extensive damage to the interior was prevented, but many works of art and religious relics had to be moved to safety. Some artworks suffered smoke damage, and some exterior art was damaged or destroyed. The main altar, two pipe organs and three 13th-century rose windows suffered little or no damage. 

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