As you probably already know, the Notre Dame Cathedral caught on fire.

"The 850-year-old Gothic building's spire and roof have collapsed but the main structure, including the two bell towers, has been saved, officials say." - (

The cause of the fire is not quite known, but some initial thoughts are the renovation work that took place to repair the cracks which could cause instability. Official inquiries are also investigating this as an accidental destruction.  

Parisian authorities said they were ruling out arson and possible terror-related motives as possible causes -- at least at the moment -- and treating the blaze as an accident, according to The Associated Press. (
(image from

Unfortunately, the spire was lost in the fire, along with stain glass windows.

Historian Camille Pascal told French broadcaster BFMTV that "invaluable heritage" had been destroyed, adding: "Happy and unfortunate events for centuries have been marked by the bells of Notre-Dame. We can be only horrified by what we see". (
(Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral Spire Collapses In Massive Fire | NBC News - YouTube)

There are many stories of heroism on scene.  Of them includes the story of a French priest entering the burning cathedral on Monday to save the crown of thorns.  The crown is absolutely priceless, as it's seen as the crown which Jesus Christ wore during his crucifixion.  It arrived in Paris in 1238 as a gift from the Latin Emperor of Constantinople to gain support from St. Louis, King of France. (  To risk one life to save such a priceless artifact is understandable, as there was only one Jesus after all.  As valuable as a piece the crown may be, so too is the cathedral.

There have been many items saved from the burning inferno, including the Rose Windows. (  There were many other items that were spared, including a bunch of the art.  It does still remain unclear if water damage will add a significant amount to the loss, but more details should come in the following days.

There has been a lot of immediate public support and donations to start the rebuilding process, and the building hasn't even cooled off yet.  There is a group of 3 French luxury dynasties fundraising $700 million for Notre Dame.  Included in the group, Bernard Arnault pledged 200 million euros after François-Henri Pinault pledged 100 million euros.

So what's the tie in, besides a simple story reporting what happened to a national treasure?  Well, Notre Dame may be able to be restored using technology from Assassin's Creed.  The reason behind this is all the extensive mapping of the cathedral to replicate the landmark in the game.

A game rendering of the Gothic cathedral. Credit: Ubisoft
In 2015, art historian Andrew Tallon mapped the church as well. A feature with Tallon in National Geographic said: "Laser scans, with their exquisite precision, don't miss a thing. Mounted on a tripod, the laser beam sweeps around the choir of a cathedral, for example, and measures the distance between the scanner and every point it hits. (

So there's a bunch of tech involved in mapping the cathedral.  Using this, it's possible to reproduce to the finest detail a 3D model in a game.  That 3D model has every measurement, to scale, of the cathedral.  Reproducing the damaged or lost parts of the cathedral should be as simple as taking another scan of the damaged cathedral, and superimpose the old scans to "see what's missing".

It's obviously not that simple, but it's not that far off, either.  Your thoughts?