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Turkish church raises money for Notre Dame renovation

Worshippers at a church in the Turkish Aegean are donating money for the renovation of Paris' Notre Dame from this week's devastating fire.

Father Gabriel Ferone of Notre Dame De Lourdes in the Aegean city of Izmir, a church built nearly 120 years ago, expressed his deep sorrow over the fire.

"I was thinking about collecting money [for the renovation] but now there's no need because our community immediately donated," said Ferone.

He also thanked Turkish people for offering their condolences.

Calling Notre Dame "the heart of France," he added: "All of the sacred objects survived, including the stained glass [windows], icons, and the holy altar."

After the fire, a large photo of Notre Dame was placed in the local church, he said.

The iconic landmark was severely damaged by the fire before it was extinguished following an eight-and-a-half-hour effort by 500 firemen.

The inferno destroyed the cathedral's iconic spire and roof and caused heavy damage to its interior.

So far, about €688 million ($766 million) has been donated to rebuild the cathedral.

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