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Tourists, Easter worshippers lament closure of Notre Dame

Tourists, devout Catholics and others are looking on mournfully at Notre Dame Cathedral, regretting that they can't get inside the magnificent monument on this Easter weekend because of the damage caused by a violent fire.

The Paris fire service said Saturday that the last hot points have been cooled, and firefighters who had worked inside non-stop since Monday's fire have now left.

Crowds lined the embankments across from the cathedral Saturday, taking photos or just staring in shock. The fire collapsed the spire and destroyed the roof of the 12th century monument, and Easter services normally held in Notre Dame are being conducted elsewhere.

Two people jog under a bridge by a the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Saturday, April 20, 2019. Rebuilding Notre Dame, the 800-year-old Paris cathedral devastated by fire this week, will cost billions of dollars as architects, historians and artisans work to preserve the medieval landmark. (AP PhotoFrancisco Seco)

Visitor Susan Harlow of Kansas City, Missouri, said: "We didn't get here in time to see it. And now we probably never will," given the many years it's expected to take to repair.

Flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. An inferno that raged through the historic site for more than 12 hours destroyed its spire and its roof but spared its twin medieval bell towers, and a frantic rescue effort saved the monument's "most precious treasures," including the Crown of Thorns purportedly worn by Jesus, officials said Tuesday. (AP PhotoThibault Camus)