For the pious, it is likely the relics—items the faithful believe to be physical remains or belongings of a saint or other holy figure—that are more significant in the tally of items saved. In particular many religious Catholics will likely be relieved to hear that the Crown of Thorns, Notre Dame’s most valuable religious item and a relic said to be the braided thorns placed on Jesus’ head before the crucifixion, is thought to be safe.
While NBC News has reported that the Crown of Thorns was housed in the now destroyed spire, a spokesman for the church said the relic had been saved, according to French media. The status of the other prominent relics, which include a fragment of the “true cross” on which Jesus was crucified and a nail the Romans used in the crucifixion, is unknown. The crown is only brought out for worshipers on Fridays during Lent and on Good Friday—this upcoming Friday.
The cathedral’s treasury was also saved, according to the cathedral’s rector.