Arts and design

Watch: Fireplaces dot Copenhagen’s historic building

A fire broke out in Copenhagen’s Old Stock Exchange, one of the most famous places in the Danish capital, burning its roof which collapsed in a scene reminiscent of the 2019 fire of Notre-Dame Cathedral. The Dame of Paris.

Emergency services, employees of the Danish Chamber of Commerce, including its CEO Brian Mikkelsen, and even passers-by were seen taking large pictures away from the building in a race to save the antiques. in the fire.

Video shows the flaming lance breaking in half as it falls, causing a large section to fall to the ground next to a fire truck.

“Everyone is crying at the Danish Chamber of Commerce now. It is their workplace, but also their history,” Mr. Mikkelsen told reporters, shaking his head in disbelief.

“It’s our cultural heritage that I’m looking at. It’s 400 years that have shaped the history of Danish culture and the society we live in today,” he added.

The National Museum of Denmark has sent 25 workers to the scene to help remove artifacts and paintings, X said.

A video from local media showed people sitting on the ground outside the building, looking at a catalog of listed papers and showing off the crafts inside.

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“We save everything we can,” Copenhagen fire department chief Jakob Vedsted Andersen told reporters.

Among the preserved works were paintings by Peder Severin Kroyer of Denmark, a famous 19th century painter.

The salvaged items will be sent to the National Museum of Denmark for analysis, its head of collections and distribution Camilla Jul Bastholm told Reuters.

The historic building, whose tail was shaped like the tails of four dragons, was being renovated and covered with scaffolding when the fire broke out.

Police said there were no reports of injuries

Parts of the roof had collapsed and the fire had spread to several floors of the building, the fire service said, adding that firefighting operations would continue throughout the night.

There were no reports of injuries, police said, and it is not yet clear what caused the fire.

“Terrible images from the Bourse. Very sad. An iconic building that means a lot to all of us… Our Notre-Dame,” Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen wrote about X.

As the trumpets blew, thick blue smoke rose above the city.

About 90 people from the Royal Life Guards, an army unit, were helping to close and secure the valuables, the army said.

“I’m very, very sad… At first, I couldn’t believe it was true,” 80-year-old teacher Elisabeth Handberg said, adding that she and her students watched the smoke from their classroom window. .

“My fifth grade students said ‘it has been there since the time of King Christian IV and then it burned down’. They were also very touched by that,” he added.

“I hope it will be rebuilt, it won’t be the other way around,” he added.

Another passerby, software engineer Thor Koustrup, 23, said he would be late for work because he had stopped to watch the flames.

“It’s crazy. I feel it hitting me inside,” she said.

Mr Mikkelsen says he has received hundreds of emails from people asking how they can help.

The Dutch Renaissance style building no longer houses the Danish stock exchange, but serves as the headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce.

The building was originally built to house stalls where goods such as tea and spices were sold.

“It was thought that a lot of gold would be produced for Denmark, that’s why they put drags on top of it because they are known to guard gold,” senior researcher at the Danish National Institute of Public Health, Ulla Kjaer told Reuters.

The spire also had three crowns at the top, symbolizing the superpowers of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, he said.

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“This spire is unique and there is no other like it in the world,” Ms Kjaer added.

“An important part of our architectural heritage was burning,” King Frederik wrote in a post on Instagram.

“For generations, the dragon shape has helped distinguish Copenhagen as the ‘city of towers’,” he added.

Surrounding the building made it difficult for emergency services to get through the flames, as the copper roof trapped the heat.

Police said that a nearby financial branch was evacuated due to the fire.

The Danish Chamber of Commerce, which has owned the building since 1857, worked to restore it in favor of King Christian IV of Denmark, who had the building built in the 17th century.

“This building is full of irreplaceable art that speaks volumes about who we are as a people and business community,” Culture Minister Jakob Engel-Schmidt told reporters.

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