Talking from the scene of the fireplace within the French capital Paris, Macron described the fireplace on the 850-year-old Gothic masterpiece as a “horrible tragedy,” however added the “worst had been prevented.”
“I am telling you all tonight — we’ll rebuild this cathedral collectively. That is in all probability a part of the French future,” he mentioned. “Beginning tomorrow, a nationwide donation scheme will probably be began that can lengthen past our borders.”
They had been unable to avoid wasting the spire, nonetheless, which burned to a blackened shell earlier than lastly toppling as 1000’s of Parisians who had gathered within the streets watched in horror. Many of the roof was additionally destroyed.
“Notre Dame is our historical past, it is our literature, it is our imagery. It is the place the place we reside our best moments, from wars to pandemics to liberations,” Macron mentioned.
“This historical past is ours. And it burns. It burns and I do know the unhappiness so a lot of our fellow French really feel,” mentioned Macron.
Photos of flames engulfing the historic cathedral — a UNESCO world heritage website since 1991 and one in all Paris’s hottest vacationer websites — had been splashed across the globe. However as surprising because the scene appeared, it might have been a lot worse.
Among the many components of the church worst affected by the fireplace was additionally one of many latest: The spire, which was restored within the 19th century.
That should be rebuilt completely, as will the far older roof construction, often called “the forest.”
“The framework from the 13th century is known as a forest, as a result of it required a forest of bushes to construct it,” mentioned Patrick Chauvet, the rector of the cathedral. That framework was fully misplaced within the hearth, he added.
“I wish to supply a phrase of hope,” Macron mentioned Monday. “This hope is the pleasure we have to have. The pleasure of those that fought to stop the worst from taking place. The pleasure as a result of 800 years in the past we constructed it and all through the centuries made it develop and made it higher. I’m asserting it tonight, we’ll rebuild this cathedral.”
Shock and horror
It was not instantly identified what triggered the fireplace. The cathedral is surrounded by scaffolding amid development work. Paris Hearth Brigade Commander Basic Jean-Claude Gallet mentioned the preliminary name to emergency providers notified authorities of a hearth within the attic of the cathedral.
About 400 firefighters had been mobilized to cope with the blaze, the French Inside Ministry mentioned. Firetrucks had problem accessing the scene, positioned on an island within the Seine, amid the day by day afternoon rush hour. Police urged the general public to keep away from the realm.
Firefighters atop cherry-picker cranes sprayed water onto the church to attempt to douse the flames.
One firefighter was significantly injured, Gallet mentioned.
1000’s of Parisians and vacationers gathered to look at the blaze. The group sang hymns as, a couple of days earlier than Easter, one of many symbols of French Catholicism burned in entrance of them.
“It is terrible to see such a logo disappearing in entrance of you. It has been there for therefore a few years and in a couple of minutes half of it disappeared,” native Thibaud Binetruy mentioned. “Paris with out Notre Dame, insanity.”
One other witness, Anne Marie, spoke with tears in her eyes.
“In Paris, it is a monumental image — each individual with completely different religions are actually moved and saddened,” she mentioned. “Paris with out the cathedral just isn’t Paris anymore.”
Messages of assist and mourning poured in from all over the world. The Vatican mentioned the Holy See realized with “shock and unhappiness the information of the horrible hearth that has devastated the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, image of Christianity, in France and on the planet.”
The fireplace on the Notre Dame cathedral “goes past Paris,” town’s archbishop, Michel Christian Alain Aupetit, informed CNN
“I obtained a supportive message from the Chief Rabbi of Paris. Everyone seems to be writing in to share their emotions. This goes past Paris. Individuals are reacting worldwide,” Aupetit mentioned.
Turkish International Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu described the fireplace as a “catastrophe for all humanity,” whereas the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, mentioned the British capital “stands in sorrow” with Paris.
“Coronary heart-breaking scenes of Notre Dame cathedral in flames. London stands in sorrow with Paris at present, and in friendship at all times,” Khan mentioned on Twitter.
US President Donald Trump additionally weighed in, calling it a “horrible, horrible hearth.” His strategies on easy methods to deal with the conflagration had been much less welcome than his sympathy nonetheless. The French Civil Safety Company pushed again towards Trump tweeting that “flying water tankers might be used to place it out,” mentioning that dropping water on the traditional church might trigger its collapse.
An emblem of France
Notre Dame’s basis stone was laid in 1163 by Pope Alexander III, and the cathedral was accomplished within the 13th century. With its towers, spire, flying buttresses and stained glass, it’s each an architectural jewel and a significant spiritual and cultural image of France.
Positioned in Ile de la Cite, a small island in the course of town, the cathedral is one in all Paris’ hottest points of interest, drawing an estimated 13 million guests a 12 months.
Even because it fell into disrepair over the centuries, it was the location of Napoleon Bonaparte’s coronation as emperor in 1804. The central spire was constructed within the 19th century amid a broad restoration effort, partly buoyed by the success of Victor Hugo’s novel “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” in 1831.
Renovation was underway earlier than the fireplace. A small silver lining from the blaze could also be that the restored spire and roof will probably be constructed to be trendy requirements and higher outfitted to resist future fires.
CNN’s Saskya Vandoorne, Sarah Westwood, Livia Borghese, Eliot McLaughlin and Gianluca Mezzofiore contributed to this report.