The horrific fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral yesterday afternoon left all of us in pain. Watching an 850-year-old landmark that had survived a revolution, plague, and wars up in flames was heartwrenching. Thankfully for the bravery of 400 firefighters, the cathedral’s main structure and towers were saved. Our thoughts are with the people of Paris.
PM Mark Rutte wished President Emmanuel Macron strength in a series of tweets in French. The PM expressed sorrow over the incident, saying the “destructive fire is felt throughout Europe”.
Je viens de souhaiter @EmmanuelMacron beaucoup de force face à cette immense catastrophe.
— Mark Rutte (@MinPres) April 15, 2019
The fire began at 18:00 on Monday and was stopped in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Officials say the fire was possibly caused by renovation work that was happening at the cathedral.
16 copper statues had been removed last week in preparation for renovating and sections of the cathedral were under scaffolding, leaving these safe from the fire.
However, the fire took a large part of the roof and destroyed the spire of the cathedral.
— Patrick Galey (@patrickgaley) April 15, 2019
According to The Guardian, the Vatican said it would be praying for the French firefighters combatting the fire. They said Pope Francis “has seen with shock and sadness the news of the terrible fire that has devastated the Cathedral of Notre Dame, symbol of Christianity in France and in the world”.
Politicians and world leaders expressed their sorrow for the destructive fire at the 850-year-old French landmark.
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. pic.twitter.com/SpMEvv1BzB
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 15, 2019
My thoughts are with the people of France tonight and with the emergency services who are fighting the terrible blaze at Notre-Dame cathedral.
— Theresa May (@theresa_may) April 15, 2019
Je suis minute par minute l'incendie dont Notre-Dame de Paris est la proie. Notre-Dame de Paris appartient à l'humanité toute entière.
Quelle triste spectacle. Quelle horreur. Je partage l'émotion de la nation française qui est aussi la nôtre.https://t.co/CyBYBJZ9Q0
— Jean-Claude Juncker (@JunckerEU) April 15, 2019
President Donald Trump said the “horrible” fire could be put out with “flying water tanks”. This suggestion was dismissed as the French Civil Security service said that could result in the collapse of the entire cathedral.
So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2019
Emmanuel Macron announced that the cathedral would be rebuilt and a national fund launched to pay for reconstruction. A French billionaire François-Henri Pinault will also be donating 100 million euros to help with reconstruction, according to BuzzFeed.