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  1. ITV Report

Notre Dame fire: How have other historic structures been rebuilt?

  • Video report by ITV News Science Editor Tom Clarke

A huge blaze which ripped through Paris's 850-year-old Notre-Dame cathedral has sparked fears the ancient building may never be restored to its former glory.

France'sPresident, Emmanuel Macron, has pledged the building will be restored to its former glory with five years. Others suggest it may take significantly longer for the work to be completed to its original regal state.

Notre-Dame is not the only history structure hit by disaster.

Both home and abroad, buildings have been repaired following devastating fires. It's now hoped they may pave the way for the restoration of a site as iconic as the French capital itself.

Conservationists can expect to following in the footsteps of buildings destroyed by fire, but reborn from their ashes to be cherished once again.

  • York Minster
Firemen survey the fire damage to the South Transept of York Minster in 1984. Credit: PA file

A lightning bolt is believed to have sparked a fire in the building’s south transept on July 9 1984 which completely destroyed the roof over that section of the building.

More than 100 firefighters tackled the blaze, which caused £2.25 million in damage. The restoration work was completed in 1988.

It took fireman three hours to control the blaze. At one point it was thought the blaze may take the whole imposing building, with early morning mists causing several false alarms.

The cathedral's rose window, constructed by Flemish craftsmen around the time of the wedding of Henry VII, has recently been restored - meaning it didn't collapse in the fire but was patterned by thousands of cracks. All 73 panels had to be removed from the fire-blackened gable to save the mostly 16th century glass.

A restoration project was completed in 1988 Credit: PA file
  • Windsor Castle
Fire swept through the length of St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle Credit: PA file

Part of the building, one of the Queen’s official residences, was badly damaged by fire on November 20, 1992.

The fire started in the first floor Private Chapel, in the Upper Castle Ward, and Prince Andrew was among the team which attempted to salvage valuable works of art during the blaze.

A £36.5 million repair project involving 1,500 building workers saw the 14th-century building reopen in 1997.

The damage at Windsor Castle cost some £36.5 million to repair. Credit: PA file

The fire was the start of a new era for the Royal family - pushing it closer toward being more open to the public.

Struggling to find funds for the restoration, a decision was taken to open Buckingham Palace to paying members of the public - and so was born a new era.

The restoration saw parts of the dominating building redesigned, with the Queen said to be impressed with the finish. Windsor's restoration means it has been born into a new era, one where it takes a public role for weddings and as a favourite residence of the Royals.

  • Dresden Cathedral
Dresden cathedral on March 12, 1946, around a year after it was badly damaged. Credit: PA

During the Second World War, Dresden Cathedral was badly damage by allied forces bombing.

Years of communist rule delayed the rebuild of the historic church, it was eventually restored to its former glory following the fall of the barriers which divided the nation and its people.

German reunification in 1991 was the catalyst for musician Ludwig Güttler to begin raising the $200 million needed to rebuild the church.

Almost half of the original stones in the rubble heap were used to re-build the church. The older blackened stone are easy to identify within the walls of the renovated building.

Dresden cathedral was destroyed by Allied bombers during the Second World War. Credit: PA
  • Coventry Cathedral
The ruins of Coventry Cathedral, Warwickshire, after the Medieval building was destroyed by Luftwaffe bombs during air raids Credit: PA

The medieval Cathedral of St Michael burned when the Luftwaffe bombed the city on the night of November 14 1940, killing more than 1,000 civilians.

A scene of devastation was left across the midland's city, the majority of which was rebuilt in the post-war era.

The cathedral's ruins were preserved as a reminder of the folly and waste of war, while a new place of worship was built alongside.

The ruins were retained as part of the creation of a new cathedral. Credit: Steven Baker/Historic England
  • Glasgow School of Art
A second fire at the school in 2018 was more destructive Credit: @banpo_monkey/PA

The west wing of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s famed building was damaged by fire on May 23 2014.

A multimillion-pound restoration project was nearing completion when a second, more destructive, fire tore through the school on June 15, 2018.

Work to stabilise the building has been taking place Credit: Glasgow School of Art/PA
  • National Museum of Brazil
Flames engulfed the 200-year-old National Museum of Brazil Credit: Leo Correa/AP

A fire which broke out at the building, in Rio de Janeiro, in September 2018 destroyed most of its 20 million-strong collection.

The fire quickly spread through the building and President Michel Temer said that “200 years of work, research and knowledge were lost”.

However around 2,000 artefacts were recovered from the ashes, including the 11,500-year-old skull of Luzia, the oldest human ever found in the Americas.

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