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“Terrible tragedy”
 

Paris assesses damages after huge Notre Dame fire

The spire and the roof collapsed, but firefighters said the fire is under control. “The worst has been avoided”, French President Macron says. Evangelicals express their solidarity.

AUTHOR Evangelical Focus PARIS 16 APRIL 2019 07:51 h GMT+1
The flames destroy the central part of the Notre Dame cathedral, in Paris. / France24, video capture

Firefighters have been able to control the huge fire that started on Monday around 7pm in the Notre Dame cathedral of Paris (France).



Sections of the emblematic Gothic building, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Europe, were under scaffolding. The investigation of the police is still open, but experts believe the fire was started in the area where renovation works were under way.



One of the more than 500 firefighters involved in stopping the fire was injured.



Officials said on Monday night that the main structure of the building has been saved.



On Tuesday morning, the firefighters spokesperson said the fire was “under control”.



Valuable artwork inside Notre Dame was rescued. “The works of art were able to be saved and put in a safe place”, said Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. “This is a tragedy for the whole world... Notre-Dame is the entire history of Paris”.






'TERRIBLE TRAGEDY'



Thousands of citizens gathered in the streets nearby observing the flames, some of them weeping and singing. The Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit said: “Notre-Dame is burning, France is crying and the whole world, too. It is extremely emotional”.



French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to reconstruct the cathedral first built in the 13th century. “Notre Dame is our history, our literature, part of our psyche, the place of all our great events, our epidemics, our wars, our liberations, the epicentre of our lives ... So I solemnly say tonight: we will rebuild it together.”



The fire, he said, was a “terrible tragedy”, but the “worst had been avoided”.



The Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo also spoke of the sorrow the citizens of Paris and the rest of France.





Messages of solidarity and support from around the world were shared with the French, including many heads of state.



Organisations such as as the UNESCO also reacted: “Deep emotion in the face of this dramatic fire at the cathedral Notre Dame (...) Standing by France's side to safeguard and restore this invaluable heritage”.





FRENCH EVANGELICALS EXPRESS “SOLIDARITY”



“The National Council of Evangelicals in France wants to assure the Catholic community of its friendship and fraternity in these sad circumstances”, said on Twitter the President of the evangelical body, Ettiene Lhermenault.



The President of the French Baptist Federation (FEEBF) also reacted to the news, saying Notre Dame is “a historic, patrimonial, architectural and spiritual symbol”. The denomiation’s “grief and solidarity is with the Catholics of France”.


 

 


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Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.