SALT LAKE CITY — A major fire engulfed the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday afternoon into Tuesday morning, bringing down the architectural feat’s spire and burning through the structure.
Paris firefighters said the 12-hour battle with the flames ended and the cathedral, as well as many of its relics, will be saved, USA Today reports.
Parisians and patrons flooded the streets outside the cathedral to sing hymns. Harrowing photos of the cathedral haunted social media.
And France President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday, while the flames still raged, that Paris will rebuild, according to The New York Times.
“We will rebuild Notre-Dame,” he said. “Because that is what the French expect.”
International and national media shared thoughts, opinions and memories of the major structure during the immediate hours following the fire. We’ve collected several of them and shared them below.
The Washington Post’s Stephen Stromberg said the cathedral will be rebuilt, but it might not ever be the same.
- “Notre Dame is not dead. The cathedral will rise again. It will be beautiful once more. The spire will be as delicate. But somehow the cathedral will not be quite as alive as it once was. I did not realize until Monday how much I was looking forward to taking my future children to the church and pointing at its incredible rose windows, the same ones whose reds and blues I marveled at when I was 11. I would have told them how Middle Ages artisans could manipulate the chemistry in just the right way to produce such deep colors, almost like magic. Or maybe I would have had to work, and they would have made me regret that I was not there to share that moment with them.”
Pamela Druckerman, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, said that Notre Dame is the “burning heart of Paris.” But the world might not have given it the care it needs.
- “There’s also a shared sadness and disappointment that, with the extensive damage, we’ve failed, as a civilization, to be the caretakers of something priceless. A hundred years from now, people will still be talking about the fire of 2019.”
The Atlantic’s Alexis C. Madrigal wrote about how historian Andrew Tallon captured images of Notre Dame, and how these images may be the one thing to save the location.
- “A cathedral calls us to consider time beyond the boundaries of one life, enclosing us in a grand view of what humanity can do that humans cannot. Andrew Tallon will not reappear among the living, but the work he put into recording stone and wood as it was built by countless hands over time may restore that creation — and embed the man into the place he venerated.”
Michael Kimmelman wrote for The New York Times that the cathedral has long been a symbol for France.
- “What a sad paradox it would be if it turns out that the restoration somehow accidentally led to the conflagration. It seemed, from early reports, to be the wood in the spire that accelerated the blaze, causing most of the roof to collapse.”
Natasha Frost from Quartz wrote that the burning Notre Dame Cathedral makes humans face an uncomfortable truth.
- “In so many people’s cultural imaginations, Paris is not supposed to change. Monuments such as Notre Dame are not supposed to be affected by the passage of time; but nor was the National Museum of Brazil, or the treasures of Palmyra, or the Glasgow School of Art, or any other cultural treasures we’ve had snatched from us. And when they do, it forces us to confront a very uncomfortable truth: For millennia, we have built a world for the generations to come, but our ability to protect it for them is much more limited than we might like to admit.”
Did you know that Victor Hugo wrote “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” to help save the cathedral in the 1800s? As Jenni Avins of Quartz wrote:
- “He aimed to bring attention to the Gothic architecture he viewed as an essential part of French cultural history and saw as endangered by the new penchant for Baroque buildings.”
Frida Ghitis wrote for CNN that Notre Dame’s tragedy was a tragedy for the world, too.
- “But the pangs we felt watching the flames consume the ancient beams, threaten the mystical rose windows, destroy the irreplaceable pipe organ, brought to mind recent man-made tragedies on French soil: the truck attack in Nice, the Bataclan massacre; not because this might have been another terrorist attack, but because our times feel so fraught, as if through our animosity and divisions we are destroying the foundations of civilization.”