On Monday, April 15th, the Notre-Dame de Paris began to burn. According to CBS News, authorities have not yet released a statement regarding the catalyst of the fire. Among the iconic pieces of architecture which made up of the cathedral, only the two stone towers of Notre Dame have survived. The spire and original stain glass, which the landmark was known for, have fallen and shattered.
The cathedral itself had been undergoing construction, the roof covered in scaffolding and tarp. At the moment, the fire is thought to be accidental, though some have attributed its beginning to circumstances regarding the renovations.
Emmanuel Macron, the current president of France, pronounced that the cathedral will be rebuilt as part of the “French destiny.” Other politicians, such as Donald Trump and former president Barack Obama, have commented as well.
“It is one of the great treasures of the world, the greatest arts in the world,” said Trump in roundtable discussion Monday night. “If you think about it, it might be greater than almost any museum in the world and it is burning very badly. It looks like it is burning to the ground.”
Former US President Barack Obama released his own comment on Twitter, stating, “Notre Dame is one of the world’s great treasures, and we’re thinking of the people of France in your time of grief. It’s in our nature to mourn when we see history lost – but it’s also in our nature to rebuild for tomorrow, as strong as we can.”
For many, the fact that the Notre-Dame de Paris has burned in the midst of Holy Week has only added to the tragedy. A French citizen named Agathe Perreau, interviewed by CBS Evening News, expressed that “Notre Dame is not just a building, it is the beating heart of Paris, and seeing it like an open heart on the medical table…it’s heartbreaking.”
The cathedral was originally constructed in 1163, though it wasn’t completed until 1345. Major renovations and restructuring occurred in the 19th century when concerns rose regarding the stability of the architecture.
An estimated 13 million people visit the Notre Dame Cathedral annually.
Further statements regarding the rebuild will likely be made by President Macron after the ashes of Notre Dame have fully settled among Paris.
By Mimi Ottavi