British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday expressed her solidarity with France and offered the UK's expertise to help rebuild the parts of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris which burnt down in a devastating fire.
May described the Gothic structure as one of the most beautiful in the world, which was cherished across the globe, and announced that the bells of London's Westminster Abbey will toll to mark the moment the fire began on Monday.
"The images of destruction we saw last night were truly heart-rending. To underline our solidarity with France and her people, the bells at Westminster Abbey will toll at 5:43pm this evening (Tuesday) to mark the moment the fire began yesterday [Monday]," May said in a statement.
"When it comes to the task of rebuilding, French craftsmen and women are among the finest in the world. As they prepare to embark on this daunting task, we stand ready to offer any UK experience and expertise that could be helpful in the work that lies ahead to restore this magnificent cathedral," she said.
Downing Street said that Historic England, in charge of protecting and conserving historical buildings, is coordinating with experts across the UK heritage sector to make an offer of support to French counterparts once the damage has been assessed.
Meanwhile, bells will be rung at churches and cathedrals across England later in the week to mark Maundy Thursday ahead of Easter as well in solidarity with France following the devastating fire at Notre-Dame cathedral, a prominent landmark of the French capital.
The fire, declared fully extinguished some 15 hours after it began on Monday, ravaged the 850-year-old building's roof and caused its spire to collapse. But firefighters who worked through the night managed to save the landmark's main stone structure, including its two towers.
The cause of the fire is not yet clear but ongoing renovation work on the site is believed to be responsible.
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