The best way to remember Notre Dame cathedral as it was, before a blaze engulfed it on Monday, may come through 21st-century laser technology.
Firefighters in Paris worked for hours to contain Monday’s fire but the extent of the damage is thought to be considerable.
The 850-year-old building’s spire has fallen and a cathedral spokesperson confirmed that the gothic church’s entire wooden interior was in flames.
Andrew Tallon, an art historian, had examined the cathedral’s architecture with laser scanners in 2015.
Notre Dame is one of the most visited landmarks in the world, drawing millions to its doors each year.
Mr Tallon used a laser beam, mounted on a tripod, to create three-dimensional images of the cathedral, according to National Geographic.
At Notre Dame the art historian took scans from more than 50 locations inside and outside the building.
Each scan is formed from a collection of data points.
Mr Tallon has used the one billion points of data he gathered to examine the history of how Notre Dame was built and its structure.
He combined the laser technology with his own photographs to produce a series of stunning panoramic images of the building.
“The upper part of the building has not moved one smidgen in 800 years,” he told National Geographic.
“I like to think that this laser scanning work and even some of the conventional scholarship I do is informed by that important world of spirituality,” he said.
“It’s such a beautiful idea.”