Denmark: Investigations after fire at Copenhagen’s historic stock exchange

Investigations after fire at Copenhagen’s historic stock exchange

A fire broke out in one of Copenhagen’s oldest buildings. photo

© Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix Photo/AP

Flames at the historic Stock Exchange in Copenhagen destroy key parts of the iconic building. The fire is under control, but many questions remain unanswered.

The morning after the destructive fire in the historic stock exchange Copenhagen the cause of the fire is still unclear. Firefighters battled the raging flames for almost a day on Tuesday. The 56-meter-high spire soon fell from the roof of the 400-year-old tourist attraction. The emergency services were able to bring the fire under control in the afternoon. Around half of the unique building and important supporting structures had already been destroyed.

The fire raged particularly badly in the part of the building that was scaffolded for restoration work and was closer to Parliament. However, the emergency services were able to prevent the fire from spreading to the other part of the building. The police are still investigating the cause of the fire.

Denmark’s Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen wrote on X on Tuesday: “Terrible pictures from Børsen. So sad. An iconic building that means a lot to all of us. Our own Notre Dame moment.”

He was referring to the devastating fire in the world-famous Paris cathedral. A fire broke out there almost exactly five years ago – on April 15, 2019 – and almost completely destroyed the roof of Notre-Dame. The pictures of it went around the world.

The amount of damage cannot yet be quantified

The old stock exchange houses a large art collection. The building – one of the oldest and most famous in the city – is now home to the Danish Chamber of Commerce, which also owns the building. “We have decided with our board that we will definitely rebuild the Børsen,” said Chamber of Commerce boss Brian Mikkelsen.

The amount of damage cannot yet be quantified. The Danish National Museum first has to map the loss of cultural treasures from the historic stock exchange, it was said. According to the fire department, the emergency services tried to bring the cultural treasures to safety with the support of the royal army. Employees also helped save the art objects.

The historic stock exchange with its striking church tower is located on the eastern tip of the island of Slotsholmen and was completed in 1625. It was built on the orders of King Christian IV in the Dutch Renaissance style to transform Copenhagen into a financial and commercial center. The building has not been used as a stock exchange in the true sense for a long time. The ongoing restoration was intended to correct an improper renovation of the building in the 19th century and restore the facade to its original appearance.


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