- Cathedrals and historical buildings have assured that they are not as vulnerable for devastation as Notre-Dame was.
- Following widespread concern from politicians, the Palace of Westminster is working to make the building safer, a parliamentary spokesperson told Business Insider.
- The master builder of the Cologne Dome said the German building did not face the same risk as Notre-Dame because its roof structure was made of iron.
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Cathedrals and historical buildings around the world are reassuring their visitors that they are not vulnerable to an inferno like Paris’ Notre-Dame.
The Gothic structure’s roof was engulfed in flames from Monday evening until Tuesday morning, causing its spire to collapse. Prosecutors believe the blaze was caused by accident.
The church, which is more than 850 years old, was especially vulnerable because its framework was made of huge pieces of timber.
Following the fire in the heart of Paris, the UK Parliament rebuked concerns that the Palace of Westminster might face a similar fate.
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Politicians have expressed their shock about the delapidated state of the Victorian building, and a 2016 report concluded that the palace “faces an impeding crisis” because of its outdated mechanical and electrical services.
Labour MP Chris Bryant, who sat on the committee for the report, warned on Twitter that Parliament must take precautions faster because “parts of the Palace are as old as Notre Dame.”
A Parliamentary spokesperson told Business Insider that protections are being reviewed as Westminster prepares for future restorations. The Parliamentary Estate introduced safety improvements like fire door upgrades and a high pressure water mist system last year.
“While this work continues we stand ready to learn any lessons that emerge from the fire at Notre Dame to ensure we do everything possible to protect our people and buildings on the Parliamentary Estate,” the statement said.
In Italy, Florence’s iconic Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore also said it only faced a limited risk of going up in flames.
Samuele Caciagli, the architect overseeing the complex’s technical responsibilities, told Business Insider the basilica started a rigorous prevention campaign two years ago. The protection measures in the Gothic building focus on the vaulting in the lower roof, as even though it is made of stone, it is covered in wood.
“Visitors can rest assured that we are continuously examining what we can do to keep the risk of a fire to the minimum,” Caciagli said.
The Notre-Dame fire also evoked messages of support from cathedrals in Germany and Spain.
Peter Füssenich, the master builder of the dome in Cologne, said he was in contact with architects all over Europe as they followed the “painful” news.
But the German building from the 19th century is not as vulnerable as Notre-Dame, he said in the press statement. The dome’s roof structure and tower are made of iron unlike the Parisian cathedral’s wooden structure.
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Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona told Business Insider that it wants to send its support to “one of the most emblematic cathedrals in Europe.” The press office said it cooperated with the public safety office and firefighters to develop a prevention plan.
In New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan to pray for Notre-Dame, The New York Post reported.
He told reporters that St. Patrick’s added a sprinkler system and flame-retardant roof during its last renovations.
The cardinal said that a fire in his cathedral would feel like a fire in his own home “because that’s what a cathedral really is.”