Watch flames destroy famed Notre Dame Cathedral as the historic building burns

Watch flames destroy famed Notre Dame Cathedral as the historic building burns

"There are a lot of art works inside ... it's a real tragedy", Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo told reporters at the scene.

From thousands of miles away, President Trump predicted to a crowd gathered for a roundtable discussion Monday in Minnesota that the Notre Dame cathedral, now engulfed in flames, "looks like it is burning to the ground".

Italy's Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said his country was ready to help their neighbors and send his condolences over the "terrifying fire" at the cathedral. The cathedral's central spire, which was added in the 19th Century, has collapsed. "Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame", he said. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site that attracts millions of tourists every year. Its priceless treasures also include a Catholic relic, the crown of thorns, which is only occasionally displayed, including on Fridays during Lent.

Photos and video of the fire show a large array of scaffolding around a section of the roof, which has since collapsed. The cause of the fire remains unclear. "Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, the cathedral is now undergoing extensive renovation work".

Others have also taken to Twitter to share their sadness at the destruction of the historical landmark.

The building is in the midst of renovations and is now wrapped in scaffolding. That claim has not been verified. Some things that get reported by the media will later turn out to be wrong.

"Built in the 13th century, the medieval cathedral is considered a feat of architecture as much as a religious symbol", CNN writes.

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Smoke billows from Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire broke out, in Paris, France April 15, 2019. We are mobilized locally in close connection with church authorities. "I invite everyone to respect the security perimeter".

French President, Emmanuel Macron, has cancelled a planned public address.

Pascal told French broadcaster BFMTV: "It's been 800 years that the Cathedral watches over Paris" and its bells pealed for both "happy and unfortunate events".

The cathedral construction began in 1160 and largely completed by 1260.

"Deeply saddened by the news of the fire at Notre Dame".

"I am following minute by minute the fire that is preying on Notre Dame".