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Copenhagen's 'Notre Dame moment' as old bourse burns, loses spire

Apr 17, 2024

Copenhagen [Denmark], April 17: The Danish capital Copenhagen suffered its "Notre Dame moment" after the historic stock exchange, one of its oldest and most iconic buildings, was engulfed by a major fire on Tuesday, causing its spire to collapse into the flames.
Even hours after the fire broke out, smoke was still rising, flames were blazing and people were gathering at the site.
According to the fire brigade, the fire had already engulfed around half of the huge building by mid-morning. The fire has damaged supporting structures, the brigade said later, confirming that part of the 400-year-old building was badly burnt. However, the emergency services said they did not initially expect the entire building to collapse.
Around 120 firefighters and around 60 volunteers from the armed forces were deployed, according to the Danish news agency Ritzau. The building, known as Børsen in Danish, houses a large art collection, including the monumental 19th-century oil painting "From Copenhagen Stock Exchange" by PS Krøyer, which was carried away by several people.
The police announced on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, that several streets and the area around the building had been cordoned off.
Danish Defence Minister Troels Lund Poulsen expressed his shock. "Terrible pictures from the Børsen. So sad. An iconic building that means a lot to all of us. Our own Notre Dame moment," he wrote, comparing the blaze to the one that severely damaged the famous Paris landmark five years ago. Notre Dame Catherdral is expected to reopen in December after its reconstruction, with the spire restored.
King Frederik X wrote in a statement of a sad sight. "An important part of our architectural heritage was and still is in flames." The striking Dragon Spire, which has now collapsed, has helped to shape the cityscape and define Copenhagen as the "City of Towers," the king said.
Source: Qatar Tribune