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Business News/ News / World/  Watch | Copenhagen's 17th-century former stock exchange in flames; onlookers say, ‘Our Notre-Dame! A national treasure’
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Watch | Copenhagen's 17th-century former stock exchange in flames; onlookers say, ‘Our Notre-Dame! A national treasure’

Massive fire engulfs Copenhagen's 17th-century former stock exchange, destroying iconic spire during renovations. Witnesses compare the tragedy to Notre-Dame Cathedral fire in Paris.

A firefighter tries to extinguish the flames at the historic Boersen stock exchange building which is on fire in central Copenhagen (AFP)Premium
A firefighter tries to extinguish the flames at the historic Boersen stock exchange building which is on fire in central Copenhagen (AFP)

A massive fire engulfed Copenhagen's 17th-century former stock exchange on Tuesday, destroying its iconic spire amid ongoing renovations. The 180-foot spire vanished in flames, witnessed by horrified onlookers.

The images recalled the disaster at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, almost five years ago to the day it was gutted by a fire.

Local resident, 45-year-old Elisabeth Moltke, told AFP while watching the blaze, “This is our Notre-Dame! This is a national treasure."

"A lot of old Danish paintings, originals are in there. I've been in there several times and it's a magnificent building so it makes me feel very emotional."

At approximately 7:30 am local time (0530 GMT), a fire broke out under the copper roof of a red-brick building, prompting over a hundred firefighters to respond. The spire collapsed, emitting flames and thick smoke. The building, currently hosting the Danish Chamber of Commerce, was surrounded by fire trucks.

 

"It's a copper roof, and it's simply impossible to get under that roof, so the fire has plenty of time to build intensity," Jakob Vedsted Andersen, director of emergency services, told news agency Ritzau, adding that the fire had spread down into the building.

Culture Minister Jakob Engel-Schmidt wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter, "Terrifying images from Borsen this morning. 400 years of Danish cultural heritage going up in flames"

"I'm lost for words... It's a 400-year-old building that has survived all the other fires that burned Copenhagen down to the ground," said Carsten Lundberg, an employee at the Danish Chamber of Commerce.

"It's a dreadful loss," Lundberg told AFP adding that what was inside were "things that you cannot put a price on... Priceless paintings, statues..."

The building lies just a stone's throw from the country's Parliament and seat of government Christiansborg.

The Borsen building, commissioned by King Christian IV and built between 1619 and 1640, is one of Copenhagen's oldest and best known landmarks. Housing a vast art collection, it was being renovated to celebrate its 400th anniversary.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 16 Apr 2024, 04:13 PM IST
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