French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday vowed to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, after a colossal fire caused the spire of the historic edifice to crash to the ground and wiped out centuries of heritage.

Macron expressed relief that “the worst had been avoided” in a fire that risked bringing the entire edifice down and left France in shock over the damage to a building described as the soul of the nation.

But the blaze destroyed the roof of the 850-year-old UNESCO world heritage landmark, whose spectacular Gothic spire collapsed before the eyes of horrified onlookers on a previously pristine early spring evening.

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