190,000+ Facebook fans; millions of page views every month, locally and worldwide — St. Lucia News Online… still ‘The People’s Choice’ :)

UPDATE: Firefighters tackle blaze at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris

By BBC

 Share This On:

MARION LEBLANC WORHER photo

(BBC) — A fire has broken out at the famous Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris and has spread rapidly across the building.

The cause is not yet clear, but officials say that it could be linked to renovation work.

A major operation to tackle the blaze is under way at the 850-year-old Gothic building, but the cathedral’s spire and roof have collapsed.

Last year, the Catholic Church in France appealed for funds to save the building, which was crumbling.

Hundreds of people have gathered in the streets around the cathedral, observing the flames in silence.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who has arrived at the scene, said his thoughts were with “all Catholics and all French people.”

“Like all of my countrymen, I am sad tonight to see this part of us burn.”

Mr Macron has cancelled his planned speech to the nation following the fire, an Élysée Palace official said.

A spokesman for the cathedral said the whole structure was “burning”.

“There will be nothing left,” he said. “It remains to be seen whether the vault, which protects the cathedral, will be affected or not.”

The blaze broke out on Monday afternoon and an area surrounding the building has been cleared.

Historian Camille Pascal told French broadcaster BFMTV the fire was destroying “invaluable heritage.”

“For 800 years the Cathedral has watched over Paris”, he said.

“Happy and unfortunate events for centuries have been marked by the bells of Notre Dame.

“We can be only horrified by what we see”.

A symbol of a country

Analysis by Henri Astier, BBC World Online

No other site represents France quite like Notre-Dame. Its main rival as a national symbol, the Eiffel Tower, is little more than a century old. Notre-Dame has stood tall above Paris since the 1200s.

It has given its name to one of the country’s literary masterpieces. Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre-Dame is known to the French simply as Notre Dame de Paris.

The last time the cathedral suffered major damage was during the French Revolution. It survived two world wars largely unscathed.

Watching such an embodiment of the permanence of a nation burn and its spire collapse is profoundly shocking to any French person.

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, who is already at the scene described it as a “terrible fire” and urged people to respect the boundaries set up by fire crews in order to ensure that they remain safe.

US President Donald Trump suggested “perhaps flying water tankers” could be used to extinguish the fire.

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has offered her support to the people of France, calling Notre-Dame a “symbol of French and European culture”.

The Notre-Dame cathedral, a popular tourist attraction is undergoing renovations after cracks began to appear in the stone, sparking fears the structure could become unstable.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said it has opened an inquiry into the incident.

(0)(1)
This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

One comment

  1. At moments like this I pat myself on the back that I did make the most of it during my time on the
    other side of the pond. Last night my sons and I were comparing notes on the various historical
    places I introduced them to at a very early age of their lives. Notre Dame Cathedral was one of
    the epic landmarks in Europe, France, Italy and Spain are rich with many aged Catholic Cathedrals
    and on entering most of them, I get Goose bumps, the awe-inspiring beauty, the lighting the Art
    Decor and of course the very presence of the Holy One, in kneeling to enjoin in Prayer and to light
    a Candle thanking the Lord for good parents, the teachers and a blessed start in a Christian life.

    (1)(0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.