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What priceless artefacts were saved from the Notre Dame fire?

Firefighters work to bring out artefacts from Notre Dame. Credit: B.Moser BSPP

A large number of Notre Dame's priceless artefacts were rescued by firefighters, who battled through the night to bring the blaze under control.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo confirmed several of the most sacred had been saved, while culture minister Franck Riester said others were being held under lock and key at the city hall.

Emergency services formed a human chain to get some of the most prized possessions out of the building, the Paris mayor said, but despite their best efforts, some paintings have been lost in the blaze.

The French ministry confirmed some artworks will be transferred to the Louvre for the foreseeable future. Frank Riester, the French culture minister, said the relics would be taken today and tomorrow. It is believed some of the artefacts have suffered smoke damage and will need to be restored.

Here are some of the famous objects and artworks associated with Notre Dame:

  • Crown of Thorns
A crown of thorns which was believed to have been worn by Jesus Christ and which was bought by King Louis IX. Credit: AP

Said to be the wreath of thorns placed on Jesus Christ's head at his crucifixion, the ancient relic was stored in the cathedral's treasury.

French King Louis IX brought the relic, which is kept in an elaborate gold case, to Paris in 1238.

The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, said the crown had been moved to a safe place.

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  • Tunic of Saint Louis

The garment, said to have been worn by Louis IX when he brought the Crown of Thorns to Paris, was also kept in the cathedral. Ms Hidalgo confirmed that too was safe.

  • Rose Windows

One of the most easily recognisable features of the Gothic masterpiece was its stained glass rose windows, which are a treasured artefact in the building.

The North Rose stained glass window at Notre Dame cathedral. Credit: PA file

Three rose windows, which date back to the 13th century, are in place on the north, south and west facades.

Notre Dame's north and west windows have been saved but it is unclear what extent the south has been damaged.

There were hopes the windows had escaped being destroyed by the fire after firefighters stopped its spread.

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  • Great Organ

With nearly 8,000 pipes, some dating back to the 1700s, Notre Dame’s master organ is one of the largest in the world.

The monumental instrument, the largest in France, was fully restored in 2013 with each pipe cleaned.

Paris’ deputy mayor, Emmanuel Gregoire, said the instrument remained intact on Tuesday morning.

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  • Bells

Housed in the two western towers, Notre Dame’s bells have rung out at key moments in France’s history.

Emmanuel, the largest bell, was lifted into the south tower in 1685 and weighs over 23 tonnes.

Victor Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre Dame, Quasimodo, was the cathedral’s bell-ringer.

The fire was prevented from spreading to the bell towers.

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  • True Cross and Holy Nail

Notre Dame was also home to a fragment said to come from the wood of the cross on which Jesus was crucified, along with one of the nails. The relics were saved during the revolution and given to the cathedral later.

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  • Notre Dame de Paris statue

Carved in the middle of the 14th century, the statue features an almost life-sized Madonna and child. It was transferred to Notre Dame in 1818.

Firefighters pull out hoses from their fire trucks to battle the blaze. Credit: B.Moser BSPP
  • Statue of Saint Denis

Saint Denis, the first bishop of Paris, was beheaded in Montmartre in 257. He features in several places in Notre Dame, including at the gate of the Virgin.

Flanked by angels, he is recognisable by the head he holds in his hands.

  • Stone gargoyles
Stone gargoyles decorate the exterior of Notre Dame. Credit: PA

Dozens of stone gargoyles are placed around the vicinity of the Notre Dame. It remains unclear what level of damage the exterior of the building has sustained.