Amongst Notre Dame cathedral’s priceless objects, the religious institution’s organ shone bright and after the recent fire, many are concerned for the instrument’s safety.

The organists of Notre Dame, the privileged few who got to play the thunderous great organ silenced by last week’s fire that ravaged the massive structure, worried that the Goliath containing 8,000 pipes and a vast array of sounds might be lost forever in the inferno on Monday night. At this point, however, it appears that the priceless piece has survived relatively intact.

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“I thought that if the organ was destroyed, well, it was a part of me that was destroyed,” says Vincent Dubois, one of Notre Dame’s organists. “Hearing the sound of this instrument in this magical place transforms a man in a way.” The performers claim that the giant but also fragile instrument, France’s biggest organ, appears to have been largely spared but expect that it will need to be dismantled and thoroughly cleaned.

It’s too early to say with certainty when the organ might thunder again, but whenever it comes to life again won’t be a moment too soon for those who play it.

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