Notre Dame Burns and Breaks Hearts Internationally
The Cathedral of Notre-Dame is an icon, to both the city of Paris and to the world. Built in the 14th century, this landmark has been admired for its authentic Gothic architecture and beautiful stained glass. The image of it has been captured in every form of art, from literature by Victor Hugo to paintings by Jean Francois Raffaelli. Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists visit the structure, worshiping and admiring it in equal parts. It also holds some of the most priceless and revered pieces of religious art in the world. The world wept as it went up in flames on Monday, April 15th. The fire started around 6 pm and within 24 hours the damage to it was astounding.
During the fire, the historic wood and slate roof was devoured by the flames. More than four hundred firefighters struggled to put it out, but were unable to save the entire structure. The iconic lead and wood spire, built during one of the cathedrals renovations, burned and fell before they were able to douse the fire. Luckily, the two towers on the western side were saved and remained standing. The priceless artifacts and pieces of art inside the building were able to be saved, but most people were concerned with the damage to the building itself, which has become a symbol for the Parisian people.
President Emmanuel Macron immediately gave a speech to an international audience, pledging he would be leading an effort to restore and rebuild the cathedral. Fund raising efforts began and within one day they already had over half a billion dollars in pledged donations. Donors include rich and influential French families, companies that are headquartered in France, as well as numerous celebrities. Right now they are unsure exactly how they will proceed with the renovations, what techniques will be used and what technology could possibly improve the stability and safety of it. The world waits while the fate of one of its greatest wonders is decided.