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Notre-Dame's precious rooster statue found 'battered' in debris

AFP  |  Paris 

A wrought copper statue of a that sat atop Notre-Dame has been found "battered" in the debris of the cathedral following its devastating fire, France's culture ministry said.

The statue is considered all the more important because it contains three holy relics -- including a fragment of the Crown of Thorns believed by Christians to have been worn by during his crucifixion, placed there to protect Parisians.

The sculpture of the bird -- which is an unofficial symbol of -- was recovered Tuesday by a restorer picking through the rubble left when the spire on which it had sat toppled at the height of the inferno that ravaged Notre-Dame on Monday, a told AFP.

The of the French Builders Federation, Jacques Chanut, posted a picture of the restorer holding a green-coloured statue in the street.

The said the statue had been handed over to religious officials, without elaborating.

A separately told newspaper that the statue was "battered but apparently restorable".

The was quoted saying that, when the 19th-century spire had collapsed into the cathedral, the statue had detached "and fallen on the good side... away from the seat of the fire".

Because of the statue's damage, it was not yet possible to verify if the Crown of Thorns fragment or the other relics were still inside, the said.

In a stroke of good timing, sculptures of the Twelve Apostles and four New Testament evangelists that adorned the cathedral had been lifted off the building last week, before the fire, for restoration work in the southwestern city of

Those statues had been fixed to the cathedral in the mid-19th century when the spire had been built to replace the original 13th-century one that had been dismantled in the late 18th century because of weather damage.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, April 17 2019. 14:40 IST