Bees and undamaged art among 'miracles' after Notre Dame Cathedral fire


Bees and undamaged art among 'miracles' after Notre Dame Cathedral fire originally appeared on

French Catholics, art historians and beekeepers are celebrating "miracles" amid the damage from a massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral.

The extent of the damage from Monday's fire is still being assessed, but a rooftop colony of bees were found to have survived.

French beekeeping company Beeopic, which maintains hives at the historic cathedral, posted a picture of the surviving bees on Instagram, along with a confirmation from the site manager that "nos abeilles" ("our bees") are still on site.

The Instagram caption included the hashtag "miracle."

"Instead of killing them, the CO2 (from smoke) makes them drunk, puts them to sleep," Notre Dame beekeeper Nicolas Geant told the Associated Press.

"It's a big day. I am so relieved. I saw satellite photos that showed the three hives didn't burn," he added.

PHOTO: Firefighters and technicians work on a balcony of Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral in Paris, April 19, 2019, four days after a fire devastated the cathedral. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images)

Another victory was announced for a different community: art historians. It was found that some of the artwork inside the cathedral suffered less damage than anticipated.

(MORE: Notre Dame: The national and architectural significance of the historic cathedral)

Judith Kagan, who works for the French Culture Ministry, said that fire, soot and water didn't reach inside cathedral walls, so some of the artwork inside wasn't majorly damaged, according to the AP.

Those works have been transported to a secure location away from the cathedral, Kagan told the AP.

PHOTO: Large artworks are seen in a truck after being removed from Notre-Dame Cathedral to be secured after a massive fire devastated large parts of the gothic cathedral in Paris, April 19, 2019. (Philippe Wojazer/AP)

The full review of the cathedral is expected to take days or weeks, according to another culture minister.

The cause of the blaze is still being determined, but a French judicial police official told the AP investigators believe an electrical short-circuit is to blame.

(MORE: Flames cause 'colossal damages' to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Macron says 'we will rebuild')

On Friday afternoon, in celebration of Good Friday, there was a service directly across the River Seine from the cathedral, at the Quai de Montebello, that was expected to draw significant crowds.

Services throughout the weekend will be held at other nearby churches, including the historic Church of Saint-Suplice on Saturday and the Church of Saint-Eustache on Easter Sunday.

ABC News' Ben Gittleson and Ibtissem Guenfoud contributed to this report.