Before fire, $6.8 million renovation project offered rare glimpse of Notre Dame statues

Religious statues set atop Notre Dame Cathedral have come down for the first time in over a century as part of a restoration of the monumental Paris church's towering spire.

A 105-yard crane lowered the copper statues representing the 12 apostles and four evangelists onto a truck, giving the public a ground-level look for the first time on Thursday.

The figures regular posts look over the Paris from Notre Dame's 96-meter-high peak.

The 3-meter-tall statues are being sent to southwestern France for work that is part of a $6.8 million renovation project on the cathedral spire and its 250 tons of lead.

Firefighters on Monday battled a massive blaze atop the Notre Dame Cathedral that the Paris fire brigade was quoted saying is "potentially linked" to the renovation work


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