Notre Dame fire: How have we rebuilt after similar disasters elsewhere?

A massive fire at Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral has caused shock around the world.

Here is a look at similar disasters to befall buildings of historic importance, and the steps taken to rebuild, here in the UK and abroad.

Windsor Castle

Disasters and Accidents – Windsor Castle Fire – Windsor
Fire swept through the length of St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle (PA file)

Part of the building, one of the Queen’s official residences, was wrecked 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.

Prince Harry engagement
The damage cost some £36.5 million to repair (PA file)

York Minster

Disasters and Accidents – York Minster Fire – 1984
Firemen survey the fire damage to the South Transept of York Minster in 1984 (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.

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

A restoration project was completed in 1988 (PA file)
A restoration project was completed in 1988 (PA file)

Coventry Cathedral

World War Two – British Empire – The Home Front – The Blitz – Coventry – 1940
The ruins of Coventry Cathedral, Warwickshire, after the Medieval building was destroyed by Luftwaffe bombs during air raids (PA file)

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

Its ruins were preserved as a reminder of the folly and waste of war, while a new cathedral was built alongside.

Historic England top ten
The ruins were retained as part of the creation of a new cathedral (Steven Baker/Historic England)

Glasgow School of Art

Mackintosh Building fire
A second fire at the school in 2018 was more destructive (@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.

Mackintosh Building fire
Work to stabilise the building has been taking place (Glasgow School of Art/PA)

National Museum of Brazil

Brazil Museum Fire
Flames engulfed the 200-year-old National Museum of Brazil (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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