Notre-Dame: Paris cathedral restoration work continues

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Workers have been photographed scaling the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, nearly 11 months after a fire ravaged the French capital's 850-year-old landmark.

Workers are seen restoring the Notre-Dame cathedralImage source, EPA

On Monday, restoration workers were seen on the elaborate scaffolding surrounding the roof, whilst some abseiled down the facade of the cathedral.

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On 15 April 2019, the world looked on as a fire engulfed the cathedral, causing the Gothic building's spire and roof to collapse.

Thousands of people gathered in the streets around the cathedral, observing the flames in silence.

Some could be seen openly weeping, while others sang hymns or said prayers.

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The main structure, including the two bell towers, was saved.

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President Emmanuel Macron called it a "terrible tragedy".

Visiting the scene, the president said the cathedral was a building "for all French people", including those who had never been there.

"We'll rebuild Notre-Dame together", he said as he praised the "extreme courage" and "professionalism" of the firefighters.

The president set a five-year goal for its reconstruction.

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In October 2019, the French culture ministry said nearly €1bn (£850m; $1.1bn) had been raised or pledged for the work.

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Last December, the cathedral did not hold a Christmas Mass for the first time in more than 200 years, as repair works continued.

Midnight Mass took place at the nearby church of Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois instead.

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A Unesco World Heritage site, Notre-Dame has stood tall above Paris since the 1200s.

Before the fire, the cathedral received almost 13 million visitors each year, more than the Eiffel Tower.

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Construction of the Notre-Dame in Paris's Île de la Cité began under the reign of Louis VII in 1163.

The first stone of the gothic building was laid in the presence of Pope Alexander III, but construction wasn't completed until 1345.

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The landmark has given its name to one of the country's literary masterpieces. Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre-Dame is known to the French simply as Notre-Dame de Paris.

The last time the cathedral suffered major damage was during the French Revolution. It survived two world wars largely unscathed.

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