The famed white marble sculpture of the Virgin Mary and Jesus have survived the fire at Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral, with photographs taken after the blaze showing the 1725 Pieta statue "Descent from the Cross" covered in ashes but still intact.
The sculpture, created by French sculptor Nicolas Coustou, was located at the high altar of the cathedral, and photographs showed it still intact but surrounded by burned rubble, reports the New York Post.
According to France's Culture Minister Franck Riester, many of the main items in the cathedral were rescued from the fire, including the crown of thorns said to have been placed on Jesus' head, which was rescued by the Paris Fire Brigade's chaplain.
Other key relics, such as a piece of wood and a nail said to have been from Jesus' cross, were saved, as well as the tunic of Saint Louis, worn by 13th-century French King Louis IX who had brought the crown of thorns to Paris.
The items have been moved to the Louvre, said Riester.
In addition, a metal rooster that had been on top of the cathedral's spire survived the disaster, and a Ministry of Culture source said it is "properly restorable."
Three holy items that had been inside the rooster may not have survived, however, because the sculpture had been smashed, the source reported.
In addition, 13 large paintings known as "The Mays" that hung in the cathedral were saved, but four were damaged by smoke and water and will be sent to the Louvre for restoration.
The cathedral's Great Organ, meanwhile, was not burned but had been affected by water and rubble, Notre Dame organist Philippe Lefebvre said.
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