Inferno devastates historic Copenhagen bourse building

Published April 17, 2024
A FIREFIGHTER tries to extinguish flames billowing from the 17th-century former stock exchange building in central Copenhagen, on Tuesday.—AFP
A FIREFIGHTER tries to extinguish flames billowing from the 17th-century former stock exchange building in central Copenhagen, on Tuesday.—AFP

COPENHAGEN: A fire ripped through Copenhagen’s Old Stock Exchange, one of the Danish capital’s most famous landmarks, on Tuesday, engulfing its spire which collapsed in a scene reminiscent of the 2019 blaze at Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Emergency services, employees from the Danish Chamber of Commerce, including its CEO Brian Mikkelsen, and even passers-by were seen carrying large paintings away from the building in a race to save historic artefacts from the flames.

A video showed the flaming spire breaking in half as it tumbled down, sending a large part crashing to the ground next to a fire truck.

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

Danish museum sends employees to save artefacts, paintings

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

Denmark’s National Museum sent 25 employees to the scene to help evacuate cultural artefacts and paintings, it said on X.

The historic building, whose spire was shaped as the tails of four dragons intertwined, had been under renovationand clad in scaffolding when the fire broke out.

However, Danish rescue services said in the afternoon that the fire was “under control”. There were no reports of injuries, police said, and it was not immediately clear what caused the blaze.

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

Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2024

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