French gov't mulls new measures to protect landmark monuments after Notre Dame blaze: minister

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-02 18:55:47|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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PARIS, May 2 (Xinhua) -- French Culture Minister Franck Riester on Thursday said the government would draw all the consequences from the huge flames that devastated the centuries-old Notre Dame Cathedral last month, adding measures to protect the national heritage were on the table.

"If there are established responsibilities, we will draw the consequences, with perhaps some lawsuits or sanctions but also new measures to preserve this type of sites where there is more risk...," the minister said without giving details on the possible measures.

"Those who speak of lack of maintenance of Notre Dame, lack of resources for its restoration, make outrageous shortcuts, of course there will be a before and after, that all the lessons of this fire will have to be learned," he told Le Parisien newspaper in an interview.

A fire, whose cause was not identified yet, engulfed, on April 15, the cathedral's upper structure. More than 400 firefighters took part in the 15-hour battle to contain the blaze that triggered sorrow over the globe.

"All the elements that were still fragile after the fire, apart from certain parts of the vault, are secure. The windows are saved, as well as the artworks," Riester added.

The minister also ensured that more than 1 billion-euro (1.12 billion U.S. dollars)-donation to reconstruct the cathedral would be used at this end.

"The donations will be devoted to Notre Dame, not to anything else," he said, adding that a committee at the National Assembly would examine on May 10 a draft bill to define a legal framework to the donations and to rule on the creation of a public institution to manage the reconstruction site.

The cathedral, whose construction began in 1160 and continued over a century, is part of the World heritage site of "Paris, Banks of the Seine" inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1991. It receives 13 million visitors yearly.