Experts estimate that 90 percent of the priceless artworks and relics from the cathedral were saved.
A leading insurance adjuster Michel Honore has issued high praise to the Notre Dame cathedral evacuation plan and those who carried it out. He stated that it was because of this process and the cool-headedness of those who executed the contingency plan that about 90 percent of the cathedral’s relics, artwork and other treasures were saved.
Despite the widespread damage from the heartbreaking fire in the 12th century cathedral, much was saved.
Honore is a top insurance adjuster and the Sedgwick director of fine art. He is responsible for assessing any damage to the “Trésor”, that is, the treasure, from Notre Dame de Paris. Though his task is far from complete, he has already seen enough to praise the cathedral’s evacuation plan. This contingency plan had been carefully and thoughtfully created, including placing priority levels on the objects to be removed, said Honore in a Reuters report.
“The plan itself worked perfectly and was adhered to the letter and that is why the contents lost is not as severe as might have been feared,” praised Honore in the report. He was speaking from Paris following a meeting with other adjusters typically appointed by their insurance companies to investigate the details of claims, but who were in this case tasked with determining whether any of the art and relics had been damaged and to what extent.
Emergency workers played a critical role in executing the plan so highly praised by the insurance adjustor.
According to reports from officials, emergency workers created a human chain to rapidly and gently remove the invaluable and irreplaceable historical and religious items while Notre Dame burned.
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There were an estimated 1,000 to 1,200 treasures in Notre Dame de Paris, including paintings, traditional church dresses and precious metals. Among the more modern treasures from the cathedral include a gift to Notre Dame given by Pope John Paul II.
“One of the first items to come out was the crown of thorns and the remnants of the crucifix. They were on the top of the list and they were taken out in priority in strict application of the plan,” explained Honore.
As experts continue to investigate the cathedral itself after the devastating Notre Dame fire which burned and collapsed the spire and the entire roof, insurance adjustor teams make their way through the hundreds of treasures rescued from within it. It will take time for the final reports of both groups to be made and finalized. Unlike the cathedral itself, these items are insured and the insurers would be responsible of covering the cost of restorations, confirmed Honore.