Rouen Cathedral That Monet Painted Is Saved from Fire - The World News

Rouen Cathedral That Monet Painted Is Saved from Fire

A tarp covering a spire on a cathedral in Rouen, France, caught fire on Thursday, forcing authorities to race to save the famed Gothic structure.

Firefighters isolated the blaze on the cathedral, formally titled Notre-Dame de Rouen, to its spire. They quelled the situation in just over an hour, though the sight of smoke billowing from the beloved structure drew comparisons to the infamous 2019 inferno of Notre-Dame Cathedral, which is set to reopen in December. 

According to city officials, the fire was caused by a tarp covering the Notre-Dame de Rouen’s spire, which has been under renovation since 2017 restoration. The spire, named after Jean-Antoine Alavoine, a 19th-century architect, has been surrounded by scaffolding for several weeks.

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The cathedral, located about 70 miles northwest of Paris, was evacuated, and no significant damage was caused to the structure. The Ministry of Culture said the fire was caused by “mishandling by workers,” Le Figaro reported.

No casualties were reported and the structure did not sustain significant damage. 

Jean-Benoît Albertini, prefect of Seine-Maritime, said in a statement: “We are dealing with a very high-value heritage asset. An inventory is under way of the works that could be affected by secondary water run-off. We may have to protect some works.”

Rising some 495 feet into the air, the cast iron spire is the tallest of its kind in France. The cathedral was a frequent source of inspiration for Claude Monet, who painted it several times under shifting light, making Rouen a popular destination for fans of Impressionism. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of the movement in Paris, with several tours stopping in Rouen for a look at the cathedral. 

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