Smoke and flames engulf the spire and roof of the the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15. The church was constructed betwen 1163 and 1345. (Hubert Hitier/AFP/Getty Images)

The Modern Loss of Historic Sites

As the French take stock of the severe damage to Notre Dame, here is a look at the recent toll of fire, natural disaster, and war on some of the world’s cultural treasures.

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A fire destroys the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro on Sept. 2, 2018. Founded in 1818 it housed several landmark collections including Egyptian artifacts and the oldest human fossil found in Brazil. The bulk of its collection of more than 20 million items was destroyed or badly damaged. (Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

A fire destroys the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro on Sept. 2, 2018. Founded in 1818, it housed several landmark collections including Egyptian artifacts and the oldest human fossil found in Brazil. The bulk of its collection of more than 20 million items was destroyed or badly damaged.

Buda Mendes/Getty Images
Damage in Palmyra after Syrian troops recaptured the ancient city from the Islamic State group on March 2, 2017. Miliants destroyed the facade of the Roman amphitheater, a 2nd-century Unesco World Heritage site. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

Damage in Palmyra after Syrian troops recaptured the ancient city from the Islamic State on March 2, 2017. Militants destroyed the facade of the Roman amphitheater, a second-century UNESCO World Heritage site.

Stringer/AFP/Getty Images
Left: Afghan girls walk past the empty seat of Buddha statue dated to the sixth century destroyed by the Taliban in Bamiyan on July 6, 2008. Right: View of the taller Bamiyan Buddha statue, known as Salsal, standing in his giant niche in November 1975. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images/Morse Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

Left: Afghan girls walk past the empty seat of Buddha destroyed by the Taliban in Bamiyan on July 6, 2008. Right: A view of the taller Bamiyan Buddha statue, known as Salsal and dating to the sixth century, in its giant niche in November 1975.

Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images/Morse Collection/Gado/Getty Images
The remains of the Notre Dame Cathedral of Port-au-Prince, built between 1884 and 1914, after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, in January 2010. The National Palace and the Supreme Court also collapsed in the quake that killed an estimated 230,000. (Jonathan Torgovnik/Getty Images)

The remains of the Notre Dame Cathedral of Port-au-Prince, built between 1884 and 1914, after the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January 2010. The National Palace and the Supreme Court also collapsed in the quake that killed an estimated 230,000 people.

Jonathan Torgovnik/Getty Images
India’s National Museum of Natural History is destroyed by a fire in New Delhi on April 26, 2016. (Arvind Yadav/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

India’s National Museum of Natural History, which housed thousands of irreplaceable natural specimens including a 160-million-year-old dinosaur bone, is destroyed by a fire in New Delhi on April 26, 2016.

Arvind Yadav/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Egyptian state minister of antiquities Zahi Hawass shows one of the pieces damaged by protesters and repaired at the Egyptian Museum on Feb. 16, 2011. Arab Spring demonstrators broke into the museum in Cairo's Tahrir Square, shattering 13 display cases and at least 70 artifacts. (Pedro Ugarte/AFP/Getty Images)

Zahi Hawass, the Egyptian state minister of antiquities, shows one of the pieces damaged by protesters and repaired at the Egyptian Museum on Feb. 16, 2011. Arab Spring demonstrators broke into the museum in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, shattering 13 display cases and damaging at least 70 artifacts.

Pedro Ugarte/AFP/Getty Images
The remaining walls of the Rova of Antananarivo seen in March 2005 after it was gutted by fire in Madagascar in 1995. The palace, which has since been restored, dates to the 17th century and was home Madagascar royalty. (Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images)

The remaining walls of the Rova of Antananarivo seen in March 2005 after it was gutted by a fire in 1995. The palace, which has since been restored, dates to the 17th century and was home to Madagascar royalty.

Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images
U.S. and coalition forces, seen in May 2008, located a miltary base on the Babylonian archaeolocial site in Iraq in 2003 making it a regular target of attacks and causing damage from heavy tanks and artillery during the Iraq War. The site includes the Ziggurat temple dating to 2100 BC, the remains of Abraham's house, 7,000-year-old graves, and other unexcavated antiquities. (Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images)

U.S. coalition forces, seen in May 2008, set up a military base on a Babylonian archaeological site in 2003, making it a regular target of attacks and causing damage from heavy tanks and artillery during the Iraq War. The site includes the Ziggurat temple dating to 2,100 B.C., the remains of Abraham’s house, 7,000-year-old graves, and an important unexcavated site.

Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images
People view the ruins of the Dharahara Tower in Kathmandu, Nepal, on April 24, 2016. An earthquake in 2015 destroyed the nine-story tower, built in 1825.  (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

The ruins of Dharahara Tower in Kathmandu, Nepal, on April 24, 2016. An earthquake in 2015 destroyed the nine-story tower, built in 1825.

Paula Bronstein/Getty Images
Firefighters battle a fire at the Namdaemun gate in Seoul on Feb. 10, 2008.  The city’s oldest wooden structure, called “National Treasure No. 1,” was constructed in 1398, rebuilt in 1447, and had been frequently renovated. Since the fire, set by an arsonist, the gate has been completely rebuilt. (Kim Jae-Hwan/AFP/Getty Images)

Firefighters battle a fire at the Namdaemun gate in Seoul on Feb. 10, 2008. The city’s oldest wooden structure, called “National Treasure No. 1,” was constructed in 1398, rebuilt in 1447, and had been frequently renovated. Since the fire, set by an arsonist, the gate has been completely rebuilt.

Kim Jae-Hwan/AFP/Getty Images
The Keriya mosque, built in 1237, in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China, on Sept. 17, 2012. Satellite images from 2018 shared by journalist Shawn Zhang appear to indicate that the mosque has been bulldozed as part of China’s campaign to destroy religious sites used by the local population. (Eric Lafforgue/Corbis via Getty Images)

The Keriya mosque, built in 1237, in Xinjiang, China, on Sept. 17, 2012. Satellite images from 2018 shared by the student activist Shawn Zhang appear to indicate that the mosque has been bulldozed as part of China’s campaign to destroy religious sites used by the local population.

Eric Lafforgue/Corbis via Getty Images
Smoke and flames engulf the spire and roof of the the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15. The church was constructed betwen 1163 and 1345. (Hubert Hitier/AFP/Getty Images)

Smoke and flames engulf the spire and roof of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15. The church was constructed between 1163 and 1345.

Hubert Hitier/AFP/Getty Images
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