Firefighters and police form human chain to save Jesus Christ's Crown of Thorns

As a catastrophic fire ripped through the roof of Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday, Parisians and millions more across the world feared for the historic building and its priceless relics inside.

And while there was extensive damage, including the collapse of the cathedral’s spire, the two main towers remained intact as the fire began to subside.

The fire was brought under control by 400 firefighters, who have been hailed for their bravery as they removed the significant collection of artwork and holy objects inside the church.

The city’s mayor Anne Hidalgo said the firefighters had managed to form a “human chain” to retrieve the items, including Jesus Christ’s Crown of Thorns.

Firefighters have been praised for their efforts during the fire. Source: AAP
Several relics moved to the Paris City Hall. Source: Anne Hidalgo

Mayor Hidalgo took to Twitter to thank emergency services, saying they created a “formidable human chain to save the works” inside the cathedral.

“The Crown of Thorns, the tunic of Saint Louis and several other major works are now in a safe place,” Ms Hidalgo said.

Many of the items were transported to the Paris City Hall, 500m northeast across the Seine.


The thorns, encased in glass and gold tubing, were obtained from the Byzantine Empire in 1238, and brought to Paris by King Louis IX.

The tunic, another prized asset, dates back to the 13th century.

The Crown of Thorns has been saved from the Notre Dame Cathedral fire. Source: Getty
The devastating fire was destroyed two thirds of the cathedral’s roof, according to officials. Source: Getty

Mayor Hidalgo shared an image of several relics stored in a room in the wake of the fire.

French Minister for Culture Franck Riester thanked the City Hall’s staff for their efforts also.

Remarkably, only one of about 400 firefighters who battled the blaze was injured, officials said.

Paris fire commander Jean-Claude Gallet revealed the extent of the damage, saying two thirds of the roof “has been ravaged”.

Preliminary investigations suggest the fire was accidental with arson ruled out. 

French media quoted the Paris fire brigade as saying the fire is “potentially linked” to a A$9.5million renovation project on the church’s spire and its 250 tons of lead.

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