Poland ready to assist Notre Dame cathedral reconstruction - president

French President Emmanuel Macron (C) speaks with firemen as they fight against a fire burning the roof of the Notre-Dame cathedral. /PAP/EPA

President Andrzej Duda wrote in a message of sympathy to the French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday that Poland was ready to participate in the reconstruction of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, which was destroyed by fire a day earlier.

"In connection with the tragic Notre Dame fire, we are spiritually united with all the citizens of France who are affected by this drama," Duda's message read.

The blaze was brought under control by midnight on Monday. Firefighters managed to save the structure of the building and the west facade. Flames that began in the early evening rapidly burst through the roof of cathedral and engulfed the spire, which toppled, quickly followed by the entire roof.

French President Emmanuel Macron has already announced a reconstruction of the cathedral.

In his message to Macron, the Polish president assured him that Poland is "ready to participate in the act of European solidarity to reconstruct the destroyed place of worship, which is the diamond of our identity and, since last year, also the home of the Polish Chapel."

"In rebuilding many cultural monuments, including sacred buildings destroyed in the inferno of World War II, Poland has educated many elite specialists in the renovation of historical objects, whose experience we are ready to share with France," Duda declared.

The Polish chapel was damaged, but survived Monday's blaze. A copy of the image of Our Lady of Czestochowa and the relics of St. John Paul II were rescued, the head of the President's office, Krzysztof Szczerski said on Tuesday.

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